Teachers, parents and students are expected to show their displeasure toward Republican-led education policies Monday in a proposed protest and possible walkout. The N.C. Association of Educators is encouraging teachers not to walk out but to "walk in" to school and start a dialogue on the issues teachers and schools face, such as low wages and budget cuts. But Republicans – Senate leader Phil Berger most prominently – are using any action by teachers as a political tool.
Loaded with anti-union rhetoric, Berger issued a statement ahead of the event Monday declaring that NCAE owns the protest, saying it was a public relations gimmick. He also criticized the high salaries the teachers association (which argues it is not a union) pays top staffers. How the spectacle plays out is likely to influence sentiment toward teachers during the 2014 legislative session, when Republicans are expected to give teachers raises, given the state’s status as one of the worst-paying in the nation.
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U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat, will meet with students at Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville at 10 a.m. to talk about Congress.
"After prayerful consideration, many conversations, and intensive encouragement, I have decided to run for the North Carolina House of Representatives," Salmon said in prepared statement. "For too long we have had unsteady, short-sighted leadership representing us in Raleigh. I offer vision, values, and a business friendly, moderate approach to government."
Lionsgate, the company distributing the "Ender’s Game" movie, has announced repeatedly that it disagrees with Card’s anti-gay views, but it hasn’t been able to stop a group called Geeks OUT from organizing a boycott.
Neither has Card, who attempted to defuse the controversy in July, in a statement declaring the gay-marriage issue moot in light of two June Supreme Court rulings seen as victories for gay marriage.
"Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984," Card’s statement said. "Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute."
Despite the statement, Card keeps getting hammered, not only for his views about gays, but for other statements, such as his description of President Obama as a dictator who might create a national police force to destroy his enemies.
But he also took note of Card’s recent plea for tolerance: "There’s something unpleasantly ironic about a man who for decades espoused intolerance turning to tolerance as a last resort." Read more here.
"But McCrory learned from Perdue as well. Perdue’s popularity crumbled in her first six months during a deep recession, and she never recovered. Faced with a sharp drop in his popularity, McCrory’s political backers, through The Renew North Carolina Foundation, in September began running TV ads statewide bolstering the governor’s image." Read more here.
Solutions have proven difficult, a wide range of experts say, and that’s something state leaders acknowledge. "There is no one program from the state that is going to solve it," said Pat Mitchell, a former county manager in Ashe County. She has just started work in a new position as the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for rural economic Development. Read more here.
Social workers say delays caused by a screening system put in place in January – to ensure that people with mental illness are not moved into assisted living facilities when they could live more independently – actually could endanger some clients who are no longer able to live safely by themselves or with family and need new living arrangements quickly. The delays also inadvertently have left some patients sitting in hospital rooms for days after they were medically ready to leave. Read more here.
Until now, parents who adopted children on Medicaid, the government insurance for the poor, elderly and disabled, have had trouble finding mental health therapists for them once the children started lives with their new families and moved away from the counties where they were born.
On Friday, the state Medicaid office tried to straighten out that problem, declaring that the children’s new home was to be used for Medicaid treatment and provider-payment purposes."This policy change insures beneficiaries receive services without delay and providers receive payment for services rendered," the administrative letter said. Read more here.