The 2019 budget included a provision to grant a site called DonorsChoose, which connects teachers with crowdfunding for classroom supplies and other needs. The budget provision faced criticism because it specifically funded requests only in then-Sen. Jeff Tarte’s district. DonorsChoose decided to turn down the funding rather than single out specific teachers for help.
Real Facts examined a sample of the requests made on the DonorsChoose website by North Carolina teachers throughout the month of March 2019 and found that basic needs (supplies available at an office supply store) made up 24 percent of requests, following technology needs as the second most common request category. Teachers across the state turned to an independent crowdfunding website to ask for paper, markers, pencils for EOG testing, and whiteboards because state funding remains consistently inadequate on this front.
Last week, Republican Representative Mitchell Setzer (R-Catawba) along with co-sponsors Representatives Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) and Pat McElraft (R-Carteret) introduced H305, a bill designed to bolster protections for UNC students accused of sexual misconduct. Specifically, the bill would “standardize protections” for students enrolled across all 16 campuses of the UNC system and add due process guarantees.
In a moment of public reckoning and conversation about survivors of sexual violence catalyzed by #metoo and the Kavanaugh hearings, conservative leaders have centered the rights of the accused. North Carolina Republicans’ legislative impulses align nationally with controversial U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’. Devos changed Title IX application into an almost unrecognizable form and rescinded the 2011 “Dear Colleague” guidance from the Obama Administration regarding sexual misconduct. The Devos guidelines narrow the definition of sexual harassment, allow colleges to use stricter standards of proof, limit the cases a college is required to investigate, and allow accusers to be cross-examined. In sum, the new rules favor the accused, as well as colleges and universities, a major departure from Obama-era guidelines that took strides to center survivors in a process mired in bureaucratic ambiguity.
However, despite conservative outcry, the concern over false allegations of sexual misconduct, like fears of in-person voter fraud, are more specter than substance. As study after study affirms that false rape allegations (like voter fraud) are incredibly rare, legislators still spend their time and valuable taxpayer dollars fighting both.
Have you talked to a teacher in North Carolina recently? Or, more importantly, have you really listened to one? If you know or care about any teachers in this state, you most likely have witnessed their struggle to make ends meet under salaries that do not reflect their unremitting workload.Read More
In a WHQR interview on Wednesday, Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) tried to shift blame for his failure to fund DEQ to handle the GenX crisis to the Senate, DEQ, and his Democratic opponent, a first time candidate for office and political newcomer.
Davis began the interview by admitting his failure to stand up to the Senate. He claims he wanted to fund DEQ, but that the Senate wanted to fund the NC Policy Collaboratory. This resulted in funding for a body that can only research chemicals, not enforce laws or regulations to protect clean water.
Davis quickly shifted blame for this failure to DEQ, saying the agency could have shut down Chemours, the company responsible for putting GenX in the Cape Fear River for years. However, he voted for the 2017 budget that continued funding cuts to DEQ just days after news of the GenX spill broke and the 2018 budget that gave Chemours lobbyists everything they wanted.
He also doubled down on his questionable TV ad that implies his opponent, Marcia Morgan, a retired Army Colonel, possessed the legislative powers to solve the GenX crisis. When asked about how to bring more civility into politics, Davis again criticized Morgan for not doing enough.He cited his online petition to stop GenX pollution as a solution.
Morgan is outspoken on protecting drinking water.Read More
At the beginning of October, coinciding with the opening of FASFA applications for 2019, the NC Promise program launched an ad campaign to promote the new plan. “We Promise” aims to raise awareness amongst North Carolinians about the opportunity to utilize NC Promise, which UNC claims will make higher education more affordable for students, yet has many low-income students paying more out-of-pocket costs. The marketing campaign comes with a $1 million price tag.
The News & Observer reported that the legislature funded the marketing push but did not specify who requested the funding. A public records request for any correspondence between Margaret Spellings, President of the UNC System, Drew Moretz, Vice President for State Government Relations for the UNC System, Timothy Minor, Vice President for University Advancement for the UNC System, Andrew P. Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy for the UNC System, Camille Barkley, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC System, Josh Ellis, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC System, Clayton Somers, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Secretary to UNC-Chapel Hill, Amy Auth, Director of State Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina General Assembly turned up no communication. According to this, there was absolutely no communication about a $1 million ad campaign between any members of the UNC System’s senior staff.Read More
Desperate to hold on to his decades-long career as a political insider and facing an incredibly strong challenger, Wake County Republican Nelson Dollar is misleading voters on his record on women’s health.
In an ad, Dollar claims he is “a leading advocate for women’s health.” However, as a key leader and main budget writer in the House, Dollar led Republicans in passing some of the most stringent anti-abortion legislation in the country.
As a House leader Dollar placed unnecessary and even creepy burdens on people seeking medical care and cut funding for basic programs:
Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) asked legislators to vote no on an amendment to one of his bills meant to clarify ambiguities in NC’s laws covering survivors of sexual assault or rape. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg), offered protections for survivors of what the law defines as “date rape.”
“I don't believe I have the authority to change the language," Davis said, claiming the amendment was not relevant to the rest of his bill.
After Davis’s request, the majority of Republicans voted against offering legal protections for “date rape” survivors. The amendment passed by two votes, 56-54.
Beasley’s amendment “better protect[s] victims that have been drugged without their knowledge.”Read More
Donny Lambeth is a Republican legislator currently serving his third term representing HD75 in the North Carolina House. Before being elected to the General Assembly in 2012, Lambeth worked for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he held 17 different job titles but most notably earned more than $1 million in a single year as the president.
Remarkably, only two years after Lambeth earned $1.2 million as a hospital executive, he voted against expanding basic health care access for low-income North Carolinians. Despite being considered “the legislature’s leading healthcare expert” he voted against expanding Medicaid coverage for some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations. This vote resulted in hundreds and possibly thousands of lives lost across the state due to a lack of affordable health care.
Along with working for a medical center, Lambeth served as the chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board for over a decade and was a deeply controversial chairman. Parents and teachers complained that he “slept through meetings” and was “belligerent.” During his tenure, he criticized the state lawmakers for failing to fund public education.
However, since being elected to the House, he has fallen in line with the Republican trend of prioritizing tax cuts for corporations over paying teachers at the national average. Lambeth voted for multiple Republican budgets that fail to compensate hardworking teachers fairly and shortchange students by cutting education spending year after year.
Furthermore, Lambeth supported voter ID legislation, dubbed the “Monster” voter ID law, that was struck down in court for discriminating against African-American voters with “almost surgical precision.”
Read on for more about Rep. Lambeth.
Source: Morganton News HeraldRead More