Description: To support the existing eleven (11) and coordinate an additional 19 school partnership programs between K-12 schools in Jiangsu Province and North Carolina, strengthen knowledge and understanding of China and its cultures among K-12 educational leaders, educator and students in North Carolina, facilitate dialogue and collaboration between SBE and JPDE and, coordinate periodic reporting on the MOU between SBE and JPDE to the SBE, including highlights of school programs.
The Charlotte city council rushes headlong into the 19th century. Not satisfied with subsidizing light rail commuters to the tune of $40 per round trip, the city council, enticed by a $25 million federal grant, is spending $12 million and $1.5 million annually for a streetcar. Yes, you heard it right, a 19th century streetcar to solve Charlotte's congestion problem. Another train to nowhere. And I thought Charlotte was having money problems in this recession? You just cannot make up this stuff. Raleigh taxpayers you are next. Read about it here.
I was catching up on health care blogs last night and noticed a theme on
the Left: they have changed their arguments and justifications for
ObamaCare and RomneyCare in the past few months.
Jonathan Gruber now claims the point of RomneyCare was not to reduce cost, even though cost
reduction was a big selling point for it and its ObamaCare progeny.
Ezra Klein praises the Cadillac Tax on high-value insurance plans for "falling particularly heavily on union plans and striking a serious (and, over time, larger and larger) blow against the employer-based health-care system." As
with Gruber's statement, this is true but President Obama sold his plan as protecting employer-sponsored insurance against those of us who think individuals should control their health insurance like they do their car insurance, life insurance, and homeowners insurance.
And it seems everyone on the Left has dropped the "Patient Protection" part of the bill title and call it simply the
Affordable Care Act (ACA), again making it clear that their goal is to
provide subsidies, ration care through government, take away patient
choices, and not worry about patients: read you and me.
The good news is there is a new diagram to help you understand how ObamaCare will make your life simpler.
Wireless Generation, which has ties to "forever governor" Jim Hunt, obtained a $37,000 contract (state funds) from the State Board of Education to provide four days of teacher training. WG has a contract with the state to provide the software used in hand-held devices.
Piedmont Publius Sam Hieb notes that Sen. Kay Hagan voted for cloture on a Senate appropriations bill including a provision with a mandate forcing states to allow collective bargaining with unions representing police, firefighters, EMS workers, and other public safety employees.
North Carolina has outlawed unionization of public safety workers for more than half a century. Hagan has been all over the map on this provision, most recently stating on May 25 (through a spokeswoman — see comments) that she would NOT vote for cloture on the standalone version of the collective bargaining bill.
North Carolinians will have to decide whether the freshman Democrat gets a pass for abandoning her earlier pledge, even though the cloture vote is for a much more expansive piece of legislation.
Read Donna Martinez's CJ exclusive on the standalone collective bargaining bill here.
Carolina Journalreported last month on Susan Kerner-Hoeg's departure from the Citizen-Soldier Support Program. She was criticized for racking up extensive commuting costs traveling between Washington, D.C., and Chapel Hill.
In a press release announcing that Kerner-Hoeg was leaving, CSSP addresses the criticism:
Recent criticism of the program fails to acknowledge the great work that Susan has done for the program and that when she was hired, it was a conscious and cost effective decision of the program that she remain in Virginia and commute to Chapel Hill as required. Her responsibilities were principally in the Washington, D.C area and the commuting costs from Chapel Hill to Washington, D.C. would ultimately be much higher.
Her impact on the program has been profound and countless Service Members and their families have benefited from her dedication to the cause of mobilizing community involvement, increasing community capacity in and access to service delivery systems; she will be sorely missed.
That's the title of Daniel Henninger's WSJ column today. Excellent reading.
Henninger nails down the difference between two visions. Under the Obama/statist vision, taxes must constantly be increased, especially on business and "the rich." It's the "We work, they decide" approach, "they" meaning politicians.
On the other hand, many people prefer a tax system "that keeps more of the nation's decisions about using its wealth in the hands -- and minds -- of millions of intelligent citizens, from any economic class. They work, they decide."
Put it this way. The lower tax rates, the more that individuals get to choose how to spend or invest money. The higher tax rates, the more politicians get to choose how to spend or invest money. Well, take out "invest" from the last sentence. Politicians never really invest money, despite the chatter about how their spending on education, health care, etc is really an "investment." High taxes cut down on true investment and transfer spending decisions from individuals (who tend to carefully weigh costs and benefits) to politicians who are driven by short-run electoral considerations and special interest pressures.
Robeson County commissioners have already raised taxes $1.2 million for fiscal year 2011. Now county commissioners want to add another $1.1 million tax hike in a vote next Tuesday, August 3. But county commissioners are selling it to taxpayers as a property tax cut.
How does the sales pitch work?
Commissioners say (promise is too strong a word) they'll give back the earlier property tax hike, $0.02 per $100 valuation, if voters approve a quarter-cent sales tax hike that raises the equivalent of $0.04 in the property tax rate. John Hood has written before on how this disingenuous strategy has worked in other counties. We have a fuller analysis of the Robeson vote available, too.
Now Guilford County commissioners are warning they may seek a sales tax hike without a partially offsetting property tax cut. Commissioners there tried to get the tax hike in conjunction with bonds voters approved in 2008. So there's no sleight-of-hand there. But this quote from Commissioner Carolyn Coleman is stunning: "[T]he sentiment I’ve heard from people is they would prefer a sales tax increase over property tax. Many people who have property but are on a fixed income would be more affected by having to pay a big lump sum.” So she thinks people can afford to pay $8.00 on every $100 they spend but doesn't think the county can find a way to offer installment plans for property taxes?
Supporters of Wake County's recently discarded forced busing policy argued that the policy had led to benefits for student performance.
The latest ABCs of Public Education report will tell a different story, as Terry Stoops explains here. In summary, Wake's test score growth for 2009-10 lagged behind the growth in most of North Carolina's other large urban districts.
Terry discusses his findings in the video clip below.
For the better part of a week, Washington has been consumed by the Shirley Sherrod pseudo-scandal, leading many pundits to ponder race relations in America circa 2010. A better indicator, however, might be the goings-on in Wake County, North Carolina, where civil rights advocates are angrily protesting the decision of a newly elected school board to end the education system’s long-running busing program.
This story has it all: civil disobedience, allegations of “carpet-bagging” Yankees, super-charged emotions, and the highest of stakes: our children. Unlike the Sherrod dispute, which is mostly a symbolic proxy war, this one is fundamental to our self-definition as a country. Do we believe in raising our children together, with kids of other races, cultures, and economic backgrounds, or not?
A new Education Next forum titled “Is Desegregation Dead?” sheds light on this question. Susan Eaton of Harvard Law squares off against Steven Rivkin of Amherst College. Though they differ in their interpretation of the “success” (or not) of desegregation, they agree on the fundamentals: Integration helps to raise minority student achievement, but it’s not nearly a strong enough intervention by itself to close achievement gaps.