Loading...
BYH to the one saying that Democrats don't believe in America's borders. Where do they get this stuff? I've never heard...

Law another step away from equal education

102117AttendanceArea-2.jpg.jpg.jpg

Students walk into South Central High School earlier this year. A new law will allow municipalities to operate charter schools.

Loading…

Monday, June 4, 2018

This is the story of how North Carolina’s legislators took a bad bill that affected only one county and turned it into a fundamental and damaging policy change that will affect the whole state.

Lawmakers were considering House Bill 514, which would allow Matthews and other suburban Charlotte towns to open and operate their own charter schools. They were told that it might conflict with state law that prevents municipalities from taking on debt to pay for public schools. Schools in North Carolina have long been funded by the state and counties, not cities.

So they inserted a workaround in the budget that allows municipalities to avoid such debt by using property taxes to fund schools. They passed the budget days later, with almost zero vetting of this colossal change. That clears the way for them to undermine Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with HB 514, but, separate from that bill, it also opens the door to worsening resegregation and creating a dual system of rich and poor school systems from the mountains to the coast.

The idea of allowing cities to fund schools at first seems tantalizing. North Carolinians have long been frustrated when politicians tell them they have separate pots of money, and that this money can only be used for this and can’t be used for that. Think of Charlotte’s hotel-motel tax, which has been used for the Panthers and the Hornets and the NASCAR Hall of Fame because by law it can’t be used for police or garbage pickup or schools.

So the change passed last week would seem to create a giant new source of revenue for schools, who surely need it. But there are at least three problems:

▪ Cities don’t have money lying around for schools. Cities like Charlotte are raising taxes as it is just to cover current expenses. So where are they going to find money for substantial investments in schools?

▪ This change is the camel’s nose in the tent, the likely beginning of the state reducing its commitment to schools and putting the burden on cities and counties. The N.C. Constitution requires the state to provide a uniform system of schools with "equal opportunities ... for all students." But the new law could give the state incentive to do that with a smaller investment and a bigger burden on local taxpayers.

▪ The change is likely to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and to widen the urban/rural gap. Small rural municipalities don’t have the money to pour into schools and so depend on state funding. Neither do big cities, so shifting that burden will harm all school systems, but it will hit those those in rural and poorer municipalities hardest. It is also sure to widen gaps within school systems along lines of class and race.

Such an enormous change deserves deep study before being made policy. But deep study and thoughtful debate is not how this legislature operates.

The Charlotte Observer

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

December 13, 2018

North Carolina corporations, again, are about to get another huge tax break — a break they do not need. It will make it more difficult for the government to meet the obligations it has to provide a quality education to the state’s children and high quality of life to all its…

N.C. Legislative Building

December 12, 2018

In his 1991 confirmation hearings, C-SPAN noted on Friday, former attorney general William Barr declared that "nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the…

Trump Attorney General-2

December 10, 2018

While the National Flood Insurance Program covers only 134,000 households our of North Carolina’s 3.8 million, it will likely pay for repairs costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Add all the damage in other states this year, from Florence and later from Hurricane Michael, which flattened…

Harvey-Flood Insurance-4

December 09, 2018

It is almost a truism in criminal investigations that those who flip early and help prosecutors build their case against higher-ranking figures are shown greater leniency than those who try to gut it out.

Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, is…

Trump Russia Probe Flynn

December 08, 2018

In June 1948, after the College World Series and graduation day at Yale, young George H.W. Bush packed up his cranberry-red Studebaker (a graduation gift from his father) and headed the car’s distinctive nose in a southwesterly direction. The little car got him to Odessa and to a shotgun…

Obit George HW Bush-3

December 07, 2018

In the week since the state Board of Elections declined to certify the results of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District election, journalists and others have begun to fill in the details of a troubling case of apparent ballot fraud. In Bladen County — and perhaps other counties…

Election 2018 North Carolina Congress

December 04, 2018

As many as 670,000 North Carolinians could gain sorely needed Medicaid coverage if Gov. Roy Cooper and members of both parties in the legislature will work together to help them.

Now that voters have restored some balance to the state’s power structure, that idea isn’t so far-fetched…

112118Cooper-SECU-2

December 03, 2018

What’s going on in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District? An election certification is being held up. The person behind the delay is being a bit coy about it. The public is in the dark. That needs to change — and soon.

The state board of elections refused Tuesday to certify…

Election 2018 9th Congressional District

November 30, 2018

On Nov. 6, 1986 the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) or Reagan Amnesty was passed. This act granted amnesty to those illegal immigrants in the U.S. that met the eligibility requirements of the act.

In passing the act, both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate agreed to secure…

November 30, 2018

By making it easier to sue for retaliatory arrests, Supreme Court justices could pump the brakes on “contempt of cop” cases where citizens’ cross words and surly attitudes lead to low-level criminal charges.

The high court heard oral arguments this week in Nieves v. Bartlett, a…

83 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»