February is Black History Month. African Americans have played a significant role in the history of North Carolina, and of the Democratic Party at local, state, and national levels. With its commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Party is seeing record numbers of African American candidates running in the 2018 elections.
To find out more about the impact of African American life and culture in NC, check out Black History Month at the NC Museum of History.
In this week’s edition, we will take a look at our public education system and making our citizens job ready.
NCGA continues to play politics with NC Schools
Despite their claims of support for NC Public Schools and Universities, the Republicans continue to undermine these important institutions. Here is a sampling of the latest.
House Bill 90
As we reported last week, House Bill 90 attempts to address the serious issues caused by the unfunded elementary class size mandate passed by the Republicans in 2016. However, it also contains several provisions to yet again attempt to curtail Governor Cooper’s powers. The Bill has passed the House and Senate and Governor Cooper has decided to not veto or sign the bill, but will let it become law next month, despite its attacks on his office.
School voucher power struggle
In the summer of 2017, Republicans passed a state budget that included almost $35 million in funding for “Opportunity Scholarships”, as well as $10 million more per year over the next decade. Do not be fooled by the name - this was an increase in the funding of school vouchers, which took much needed money from our public schools. Governor Cooper has sued over this increase as part of the Cooper v. Berger, II lawsuit, asserting that the Legislature has once again overstepped its bounds in trying to restrict the Governor’s powers.
Break up of districts
Republicans have asked the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units to determine by May 1 whether it recommends allowing school systems in NC to divide into smaller units. Based on their track record of constant racial and partisan gerrymandering, some believe this is an attempt by Republicans to allow school systems to once again segregate. Wake County’s own Rosa Gill has been appointed to the committee. A meeting of the Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21st at 9am in 504 LOB and is open to the public. We will also continue to monitor this process.
Making “NC Job Ready”
Governor Cooper announced on Tuesday a new initiative to help prepare all NC citizens for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Known as “NC Job Ready”, the initiative will include
- easier access for training in high-demand fields,
- better internet access,
- expanded workplace and employer-led learning opportunities, and
- connecting rural and small-town communities to public and private economic development assistance.
Have you checked out our new website?
Our website, www.wakedems.org recently got a facelift! Check out the site for information on our party, your precinct, and how you can get involved.
Valentine’s Fundraiser Reminder