NC schools got jobbed by one-time EduJobs money
By Dr. Terry Stoops
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The NC General Assembly is in. Federal EduJobs money is out. How will those in power deal with a state that is out of temporary federal aid for public schools? This is one of the many questions that
legislators will have to answer before they leave town.
- Join the Civitas Institute on Tuesday May 15 from 7:00 to
9:00 pm for Free Market Academy New
Bern: Economics In One Lesson. This
workshop explores the basic truths of economics and their implications for
several public policy issues. The event
will be held at Healing Grace Church in New Bern and is free to the
public. To register, click here.
- The John W. Pope Civitas Institute will hold its
monthly poll luncheon on Thursday, May 31 at 11:45 am at the Brownstone Doubletree Hotel in downtown
Raleigh. The poll will examine
voter opinion on the most significant and current issues such as government
spending, state debt, health care, energy, social policy, election reform, and
much more. Additionally, the polls measure approval ratings for national and
state leaders, allowing attendees to gauge voter sentiment on elected
officials. To register, call
919-834-2099 or go to http://www.nccivitas.org/events/.
- The Civitas campaign training program is focused
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build a winning campaign from the ground up. Whether you are interested in
managing a campaign, running for office, or simply interested in how campaigns
work, the class will lay out the groundwork for an effective campaign
strategy. The training session will be
held on June 7 from 1:00 to 6:00 PM at the Brownstone Doubletree Hotel in downtown Raleigh. To register, click here.
- The North Carolina
History Project would like educators and homeschool parents to submit lesson
plans suitable for middle and high school courses in North Carolina
history. Please provide links to NC
History Project encyclopedia articles and other primary and secondary source
material, if possible. Go to the NC History Project website for further information.
- JLF's research newsletter archive sings on key.
In August 2010, Congress approved the Education Jobs Fund. The so-called EduJobs bill provided $10
billion to states "to save or create education jobs for school year (SY)
2010-2011." While many states
expended their entire appropriation last year, a pre-existing law (Tydings
Amendment) permitted school districts to carry over funds to the 2011-2012
school year. North Carolina school
districts did just that. They set aside
a substantial portion of state's $300 million grant to fund teacher salary and
benefits for the current school year.
How did we get to this point? In other words, who had the bright idea to
give states temporary funds for permanent teaching positions? Leave it to the U.S. Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan to explain the logic...or ignore the issue altogether.
In an August 10, 2010 conference
call, Secretary Duncan provided an overview of the Education Jobs Fund
Program for members of the press. His
exchange with Associated Press reporter
Donna Blankenship was the most revealing of the bunch.
the U.S. Department of Education transcript of the conference call:
Donna Blankenship: Yes. This is Donna from the Associated Press.
I have a question about the next school year after this one. What are we
planning to do in 2011-12 if schools still need money for teachers' salaries?
Arne Duncan: Well, we're focused right now Donna on this school year.
Donna Blankenship: Right.
Arne Duncan: And, we really wanted to avoid a huge catastrophe this year. As you
know, the economy is slowly starting to bounce back, and we're hopeful we'll be
in a much better spot next year. But right now as you know Donna, we just felt
this huge sense of urgency. ...
Donna Blankenship: Thank you.
Yes, it was disappointing, albeit not surprising, to see a
member of the mainstream media capitulate to Duncan (twice!). Even so, Blankenship's question was a legitimate
one. Duncan's answer was not.
Days after the conference call, Rick Hess of the American
Enterprise Institute picked
apart Duncan's non-answer. Hess
There are two problems with Duncan's
analysis. One, things aren't going to be better next year. In suggesting they
will be, Duncan was either disingenuous or uninformed. ... Second, bailouts are
making matters worse by making it more difficult for states and districts to
rein in spending. Of the 34 states that
had passed budgets by mid-June of this year, 23 had factored in federal "rescue"
dollars. This means that instead of squeezing benefits, trimming formulas, or
otherwise taking this opportunity to get their affairs in order, states were
leaning on their members of Congress to funnel more borrowed bucks their way.
Nearly two years after Duncan's conference call, Hess's
prediction about the economy was on the money.
The economy did not "bounce back." There was no economic miracle, in North
Carolina or elsewhere, that restored tax revenues to pre-recession levels.
As school districts exhaust the remaining EduJobs funding,
State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison and various public school
advocacy groups have demanded
that the NC General Assembly increase the public education budget (and taxes) to
make up the difference. According to the
latest NC Department of Public Instruction figures, legislators would have to
use state funds to replace, at minimum, $258.5 million in EduJobs carryover
Obviously, Democrats were in charge of the NC General
Assembly (and Harrison was chair of the State Board of Education) when the
state accepted huge sums of temporary federal dollars for public schools. Apparently, they also accepted Duncan's disingenuous
promise that they would not have to worry about "next year" because
the economy was about to "bounce back." Suckers!
The NC General Assembly's "short session" starts
today and the Republican majority must now find a way to clean up the mess left
by their political rivals. In coming
weeks, North Carolinians will find out how they plan to do so. Regardless of their specific course of
action, the legislature must put an end to looking the other way when opportunistic
Washington politicians and their shortsighted bureaucratic henchmen offer North
Carolina a "quick" fix.
Bingo regulations rock!
North Carolina General Statute 14‑309.8. Limit on sessions.
The number of sessions of bingo
conducted or sponsored by an exempt organization shall be limited to two
sessions per week and such sessions must not exceed a period of five hours each
per session. No two sessions of bingo shall be held within a 48‑hour period of
time. No more than two sessions of bingo shall be operated or conducted in any
one building, hall or structure during any one calendar week and if two
sessions are held, they must be held by the same exempt organization. This
section shall not apply to bingo games conducted at a fair or other exhibition
conducted pursuant to Article 45 of Chapter 106 of the General Statutes.
School employee positions
eligible for EduJobs funding included the following:
- Assistant principals
- Academic coaches
- In-service teacher trainers
- Classroom aides
- Social workers
- Physical, speech and
- Security officers
- Maintenance workers
- Bus drivers
- Cafeteria workers
I would like to invite all readers
to submit announcements, as well as their personal insights, anecdotes,
concerns, and observations about the state of education in North Carolina. I will publish selected submissions in future
editions of the newsletter. Anonymity
will be honored. For additional information
or to send a submission, email Terry at email@example.com.
Education Acronym of the Week
MOE -- Maintenance
Quote of the Week
"22. Should we expect to
receive these funds again in 2011-12? No, these funds are non recurring funds and
the LEAs should not expect additional funds in 2011-12."
- NC Department of Public
Instruction, "Education Jobs Fund
Question and Answer," 2010.
Click here for the Education
Monday, May. 21st, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Marc Levin
"Right on Juvenile Crime in North Carolina"
Monday, May. 28th, 2012 at -
No Shaftesbury Meeting
There will not be a shaftesbury luncheon.
Monday, Jun. 4th, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Dr. Jeff Broadwater
"Living with a Legacy: James Madison and the Constitution"
Tuesday, Jul. 31st, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Friedman Legacy Freedom Lecture
with our special guest Joseph P. Calhoun
Keeping Milton Friedmanís Ideas Alive in Colleges and Universities