This ain’t New Jersey
Why are so many folks in Chapel Hill pushing our taxes up past sky high?
No offense to any of you transplants, but let’s just be honest. Y’all who moved down here from up North (you Yankees my mamma warned me about) shake your heads and talk about us as if we are stupid. On some issues, we are: “Right to work” laws, Duke Energy buying a governor, and Confederate statues outside of courthouses – all stupid. But one thing North Carolina was smarter than New Jersey about was our excellent “uniform” system of public schools.
Govs. Terry Sanford and then Jim Hunt elevated public education to exceptional highs across the entire state recognizing that schools were the best vehicle to pluck folks out of poverty. The constitutional rewrite of 1971 laid out the parameters, but Jim Hunt made it his priority to invest in education, elevate, and celebrate teachers as professionals. It worked. North Carolina became the flagship of the progressive South. Hunt’s model of accountability (ABCs), which was strictly a carrot system of rewards, motivated school districts across the state to step up their game. Schools flourished from Wilmington to Asheville and educational innovation was the mantra, making it less dire to buy a house in the “right” school district.
Buying property in the right school district is how it’s done in New Jersey and many other states. Schools are funded almost entirely with local taxes and people have the mindset that if they can afford to live in the “good school district” and pay the higher taxes, they deserve better schools for their kids. But in North Carolina we used to believe EVERY student deserves more. Schools our students deserve are funded at the state level. The General Assembly needs to be reminded of this every day.
Founder, Orange County Strong
Regarding the news story “Group continues push to ban Confederate flag in Orange County Schools” (CHN, April 30)
There are plenty of other types of symbols that groups may claim are “offensive.” You could argue that a Black Lives Matter T-shirt is offensive to white people because of the violence perpetrated during many rallies by this group. Not sure where it ends.
I don’t personally have any problem with the Confederate flag, but I do have a problem when people use it (or any symbol or slogan) to try to intimidate others. Maybe more focus should be put on the problem (intimidation and/or racism), as opposed to the symbol?
In reading Steve Feldman’s letter “No justification” (CHN, April 16), it is clear he has a generous, if gullible, heart. The writer is overwhelmed with pity for Palestinians based on his limited understanding of history. I wonder if he could spare any pity for the nearly 900,000 Jews who were expelled from Muslim countries when Israel was founded?
As for Holocaust victims who escaped murder but survived torture and starvation and (homeless and desperate) sought refuge in Israel – does he have any pity left for them too? Or has this part of history become too passe for him? Could he eke out a smidgeon of pity for Israeli victims of ongoing terrorist stabbings, bombings and car attacks?
Feldman could benefit from some education regarding the establishment of Israel. Jews have lived in Israel for over 3,000 years. Around 300 CE some left to escape war and went to live in countries across the globe, but others stayed – Jews are indigenous to the land. In the 1800s CE, in response to pervasive persecution, dispersed Jews started moving back to “Palestine” (an area under Ottoman rule). By 1947 when Israel was established, more than half of the land had been legally purchased by Jews. Arabs were offered their own state but refused. Israel asked Arabs living there to stay. About 160,000 did, and another 700,000 fled at the encouragement of their leaders. They have received billions of dollars in aid since 1947. Rather than helping people, Palestinian leadership uses the money to enrich itself, teach hate and sponsor terrorist acts against Israelis.
Feldman makes vague accusations against Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians. While it may feel good to jump on the anti-Israel bandwagon, it is important to remember that the loudest voice is not always the correct one.
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