education

North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Mike Clampitt (R-Haywood, Jackson, Swain)

Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. Here we look at Republican Representative Mike Clampitt, a Republican representative from House District 119 in Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties. Clampitt, a freshman legislator, had run twice before against incumbent Joe Sam Queen for H119 before finally beating Queen by around 300 votes in November 2016. Before being a perennial candidate Clampitt worked at the legislature.

In his first term in the NC House, Clampitt has quickly forgotten his district, supporting economic policies that benefit the weathly over working families in his district. Read more on Clampitt here.

(Source: WYFF)
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. John Sauls (R-Harnett, Lee)

In this legislator profile, we focus on Rep. John Sauls, a Republican representative from District 51 in Harnett and Lee Counties. Sauls served in the General Assembly as a Republican from 2003 until 2007, when he left both the party and public office. In 2016 Sauls rejoined the party and was re-elected. He serves on the appropriations committee and as the chairman of the Education-Community College committee.

Sauls consistently supported policies that shortchange education at every level in N.C. He repeatedly voted for environmental policies that jeopardize access to clean water and clean air while also threatening rural economic development. Sauls supported a budget that prioritized tax cuts over policies that benefit working people, including teachers, families, and the elderly. Read more on Rep. Sauls here.

“I will continue to fight for more resources for our public schools and to ensure these resources are being used in the classrooms not wasted by bureaucrats.” - John Sauls

(Source: Harnett News)
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Legislator Profile: Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Bill Brawley, a Republican from House District 103, first elected to the General Assembly in 2010. Brawley moved to Matthews, N.C. in 1982 and was a Matthews town commissioner from 1989 to 1993. 

Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the real estate business over the public. Read more on Brawley here

Summary:

Brawley proudly supports private school vouchers that siphon money from our public school system

  • He sponsored a bill that lets Matthews-Mint Hill areas create their own charter school districts, a move CMS said would re-segregate Mecklenburg County.
  • Brawley voted for the 2017 Republican budget that Republican budget allocated $45 million to the controversial school voucher program

“I will tell you I’m disappointed in the quality of the education my kids received,” --Brawley said of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. (Charlotte Observer, 1/5/18)

Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the business over people, putting renters and the public at risk.

  • He sponsored a bill to make it more difficult for towns to inspect residential properties for unsafe conditions.
  • Bill Brawley tried to kill rental housing inspection programs designed to hold landlords accountable and dissuade them from renting to people prone to commit crime and keep neighborhoods safer.
  • In what appears to be a conflict of interest, Bill Brawley, a commercial real estate broker, inserted language into a bill “pushed by the N.C. Association of Realtors” to “expand real estate agents’ ability to perform market analyses of properties.”
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Ted Davis, Jr. (R-New Hanover)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Ted Davis Jr., the Republican representative from House District 19. Before his 2012 election to the General Assembly, Davis served on the New Hanover Board of County Commissioners for 16 years. Davis claimed to be a “lifelong Democrat” before crossing party lines after being approached by the Republican Party to run for County Commissioner back in 1996. Davis ran unopposed in 2016.

Davis currently serves on seven legislative committees. He serves as chair of Appropriations on Justice and Public Safety Committee and Judiciary Committee I and vice chair of Appropriations Committee and Committee of Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. He is also a member of the Commerce and Job Development, Education- Universities and Elections and Ethics Law Committees. More recently, he was named Senior Chairman of the House Select Committee on River Water Quality, formed in late 2017 to address the GenX issue. Read more on Davis here.

“All I know is that we’re doing something” –Rep. Ted Davis on GenX bill. (WRAL, 1/10/18)

Summary

Davis, whose district is specifically affected by GenX contamination, was named Senior Chairman of the House Select Committee on River Water Quality. Yet he was reluctant to add funding to the DEQ and voted for a budget which decreased appropriations to the Clean Water Management Trust.

  • Davis was reluctant to add funding to a bill that would direct DEQ to analyze statewide emerging contaminants in surface, groundwater, and drinking water
  • Davis voted for the 2017 budget, which decreased funding to the already underfunded Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Davis was a primary sponsor of HB2, a discriminatory bill that cost NC upward of $630 million. He also supported follow-up “compromise bills” that would have put civil rights on the ballot by making nondiscrimination ordinances subject to referendum.

  • Davis claimed that any civil rights grievances filed following the bathroom bill were “unintended consequences”
  • HB186 repealed HB2 but limited the ability of local governments to pass nondiscrimination ordinances.

Davis voted for the 2017 budget which prioritized tax cuts over funding education and has reinforced the idea that NC is paying its teachers enough despite NC falling below average on teacher and student spending.and students.

  • Davis voted for a budget that fails to meaningfully raise teacher salaries.
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"You've held up very well" Sen. Tillman uses Question Time to Remark on Appearance of Woman Presenter in Education Committee Meeting

A brief yet fraught moment during the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee joined the ongoing drumbeat of instances of sexual harassment in the workplace.  

The committee meeting began with a presentation from “Schools that Lead,” a professional development opportunity for teachers. Three women presenters from the program offered their thoughts on student-centered approaches, data, and solving problems in the classroom. They then fielded an increasingly long list of questions and comments from legislators.

Yet despite the time constraints, one male legislator could not help but widen the scope of his question (more like an unsolicited comment) beyond programmatic details. Senator Tillman (R- Moore, Randolph) instead opted to use his question time to comment on the presenters’ appearance.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Debra Conrad (R-Forsyth)

In the next installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series, we examine Representative Debra Conrad of Forsyth County. Conrad joined the NC House in 2012 after serving 18 years as a Forsyth County Commissioner. Conrad used her Tea Party mentality to defend cuts to schools in Forsyth County long before Republicans in the General Assembly were doing the same. When she joined the NC House in 2012, she was just in time to support education overhaul that continues to hurt teachers and students across the state. Read more here.

“I was a Tea Party person before there was a Tea Party” –Rep. Debra Conrad (Winston-Salem Journal, 10/13/10)

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Unconstitutional GOP majority proposes budget—our first take

This unconstitutionally elected Republican majority continues to legislate, not on behalf of the people of North Carolina, but on behalf of their billionaire backers. Instead of protecting the middle class and building world-class public schools, this budget gives tax breaks to billionaires. Under this budget, North Carolina will keep falling behind when it doesn’t have to.

  • The Republican budget fails our schools, middle class families, and the future of our economy at a time when we do not have to.
  • Cooper found a way to raise teacher pay more than 5% next year. Republicans only offer 3.3%. Instead of investing in classrooms, Republicans are giving millions in tax breaks to billionaires.
  • Cooper offered free community college for high school graduates, money to help teachers pay for out-of-pocket expenses, and eliminated the waitlist for pre-K. Republicans did none of those things.
  • Under this budget, we are still spending less that we did before the recession per student, teachers are still underpaid, and we have seven thousand fewer teaching assistants than we did in 2008.
  • Instead of prioritizing education, Republicans are undercutting our kids and it’s our economy that will suffer as North Carolina falls farther and farther behind other states and competitors like China and India. 

In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..

  • Governor Cooper's budget invests $20 million to expand access to broadband and improve the economy of rural North Carolina, while the Republican budget would spend $250,000 on state IT bureaucrats.
  • Cooper proposed $30 million for a ready-sites program to attract new jobs to rural areas. The Republican budget leaves rural areas behind, choosing to spend only $2 million on ready-sites.

The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right:

  • The Republican budget spends $1.3 million on an anti-abortion advocacy group that masquerades as a provider of health services to women, pushing dangerous and misleading propaganda on vulnerable women.
  • The GOP spends $40 million on private school vouchers which send tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools.

 

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Dan Forest lauds state education funding in Onslow County, which ranks 110 of out 115 in state spending on schools

“We are sixth in the nation for state funding for education.” That’s what Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told a gathering of local Republicans on Friday. It’s not the first time Forest has made this debunked claim, but what’s really out of touch is where he said it.

Forest lauded state education spending while speaking in Onslow County, a county that is falling behind in statewide per pupil spending. 

Over the past four years, Onslow County has consistently received less money than the average from the state per pupil. In the 2015-2016 school year, the average per pupil state spending was $5724.21, but Onslow County Schools only received $5,247.34. During this same year, Onslow County ranked 110th out of 115 NC Local Education Agencies, or LEAs, in state funding per pupil. 

Per Pupil Expenditures

School Year

Onslow Spending

State Spending in Onslow

Avg. State Spending

2015-16

5,247.34

5,247.34

5,724.21

2014-15

5,247.34

5,249.80

5,638.39

2013-14

2,258.99

5,025.95

5,390.12

2012-13

1,984.17

4,961.27

5,399.64

(NC Public Schools, per pupil expenditures, child nutrition included, 2012-2016)
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NEA REPORT: NC Per Student Spending Drops

The newest NEA State Education Rankings were released today and the biggest news is that North Carolina's per pupil funding actually dropped from 2016 to 2017. Here are the highlights:

  • NC currently ranked 43rd in per pupil spending, was ranked 42nd last year 
  • NC per pupil spending went down from 2016 to 2017
  • NC currently spends $3,044 less per student than national average
  • NC only beats Mississippi in Southeast in per pupil spending

 

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2017 North Carolina Senate Budget - Quick Takeaways

It’s clear from Senate Republicans’ proposed budget that they are determined to follow their same misguided priorities - placing the millionaires and billionaires that fund their campaigns ahead of the needs of everyday North Carolinians. When compared to the governor's budget, this budget falls short in several key ways:

  • Cooper’s plan is a realistic plan to get teacher pay to the national average in five years and raises teacher pay by 5% this year. The Senate plan only raises teacher pay 3.7%.
  • Every teacher gets a raise under the Cooper plan. Under the Senate plan, the most veteran teachers get no raise at all.
  • Cooper’s budget invests $8 million more in textbooks and increases per pupil spending by almost $200 more than the Senate plan.
  • Instead of eliminating the wait list for Pre-K or providing for tuition-free community college as Governor Cooper did, Republicans have chosen to spend another $44 million on private school vouchers.

Instead of investing in schools, the Republican leaders in the Senate are willing to give away hundreds of millions of dollars on tax breaks for billionaires and giant corporations.

This plan would give millionaires a tax cut 60 times the size of what middle class families would receive.

Since Republicans have taken control of the state legislature they’ve chosen millionaires before the middle class every step of the way. Under the Senate plan, eighty percent of state tax breaks since 2013 went to the wealthiest North Carolinians.

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