Tag Archives: Charter Schools

Common Core Presentation in Jacksonville, NC

Confused about Common Core?


Don’t know what Common Core is?


Or maybe you just have questions about the, the bad and the ugly about


Common Core and your child’s education?


Then come meet the experts.


Join us at an open forum on


November 12th at First Freewill Baptist Church




919 Gum Branch Road in Jacksonville.


The time is 7:00pm


This is NOT a script put out by the North Carolina or


Onslow County Boards of Education.


These are the FACTS about Common Core presented by


Lindalyn Kakadelis, Director of the North Carolina Education Alliance


with the John Locke Foundation; and


Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow with the American Principles Project


and renowned Common Core expert




This event is sponsored by concerned parents and grandparents of Onslow County

Common Core Presentation by Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association

Public Service Announcement

October 28, 2013


Kim Fink, Common Core Committee Chairman for Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA), recently made a 5 minute speech to the Craven County Board of Education on behalf of CCTA. Kim packed an enormous amount of information into 5 minutes, and says she was able to do it by “talking fast and not breathing.” Kim’s talk is reprinted here…



My name is Kim Fink, and I am representing Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association and I am the committee chair investigating Common Core.


We are fundamentally opposed to Common Core Standards.

Our reasons include:

It’s not legal; Congress has passed three separate statutes that prohibit the Department of education from supervising, directing or controlling curriculum. By using the CC standards and the associated national testing to define the curriculum, they are violating all 3 statutes.

Inception of Common Core: In 2009, the Secy. Of Education, Arnie Duncan gave the Dept. of Education 435 billion dollars of stimulus money that was used to fund the Race to the Top competition. Another incentive to the states was a waiver from the No Child Left Behind program.   To compete for this grant money, states had to agree to adopt Common Core, sight unseen. How did this happen? The application for the grants was released in November of 2009. Completed applications were due in 2 months, January of 2010. I remind you that at this time our state was desperate for money for education. Our legislators were not in session during November and December so the decision to apply for the grant was made by the Governor and state board of education. The standards were released in March of 2010, 2 months AFTER applying for the grant. Kind of reminds me of Obamacare, you had to pass it in order to see what was in it.   In June of 2010 the final draft of the Common Core Standards was released and the school board had until August for their final vote, NC state board of education voted unanimously on June 2, 2010 to adopt Common Core. This decision was made during summer vacation with little involvement from local districts, principals, teachers or parents. According to the John Locke Foundation, there was only one NC participant in developing Common Core, Professor Jere Confrey of the NC State University College of education.   These standards were adopted statewide without being field tested. There is no evidence to suggested that Common Core Standards are successful


Standards versus curriculum argument:   Proponents say the CC standards are not the curriculum; the states are free to change the curriculum. This is misleading as the standards drive the curriculum. The curriculum is merely the details of teaching the standards. The National tests will align with the standards, which will dictate the curriculum so students will be able to pass the tests.   When states sign on to CC they have agreed to the standards plus assessments, those tests will be the enforcement mechanism. David Coleman is the primary author of the English Language Arts portion of the Common Core, and is also the new President of the College board. He wants to align the SATs with CC; again this will assure the implementation of the CC curriculum.

Data Collection: When the NC agreed to Common Core, they agreed to aggressive online data collection of the students as well as the teachers. The Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System(CEDARS) is the states longitudinal data system that incorporates the financial systems, teacher licensure, federally required data reporting, and student information from Power School, testing data and student transcripts. Included is personal information like test scores, disciplinary records, health history, medications, immunizations, student vehicle descriptions, family income range, religious affiliation, attitudes persistence, political affiliation etc. Allot of non-academic things that parents are not comfortable with, and have not given permission to share with anyone else, thanks to a presidential executive order allowing the data to be shared with any entity, public or private as long as it describes the sharing as necessary to an audit or evaluation of a federal program. This is from the amended regulations of “Family education rights in privacy act”


Why was CC adopted without being field tested, why weren’t other testing standards looked at? I think the answer is the money.   We all want what is best for our children. North Carolina is a Local Control State, which means the local school board is the FINAL authority on decisions of our County. We can’t choose the state tests, but we can choose to adopt whatever standards we want, and directly per Ms Alexis Schauss of the NC Board of Education, we will not lose access to State or Federal Funding should we choose a curriculum and standards other than Common Core, but may lose the Race to the Top grants. I strongly urge you to consider other non-nationalized options.

Why ccta cares: A major concern is how we are going to pay for the continued implementation of CC, the required infrastructure, the computers, the testing, textbooks and materials, the training/retraining of teachers and administration. The tax payer cost has been estimated to be between $300 million and $525 million over the next 7 years.

We care about the loss of parental rights, loss of input from teachers, principals, local and state school boards.   CCTA is more comfortable with Craven county school officials than we are with the state and federal bureaucrats and their associated agendas. The Common Core curriculum is a copyrighted program that doesn’t allow for deviation, although you can add up to 15% of content, you cannot delete any part of the standards. We oppose Social indoctrination of our children where they will be taught what to think instead of how to think.

I have collected allot of data on Common Core, my sources include The John Birch Society, The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Civitas, The John Locke Foundation, The North Carolina Education Alliance, The American Principals Project , the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law , Michelle Malkin, and even Wikipedia. I have forwarded information to all of the craven country school board members on more than one occasion. I am disappointed that only one of you has seen fit to reply to any of my correspondence. Since I can prove I have reasons to be concerned, Can you give us any reasons not to be?


Info provided by:

Raynor James, PR Chair, Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA)

252-288-6228 (home)

252-626-2804 (cell)

305 Calico Drive, New Bern, North Carolina, 28560

Letter to the Editor, Common Core


There are several Onslow County citizens that have been trying to stop the infliction of Common Core on the education system of this county.  We have tried to educate our fellow citizens in meetings and face to face discussions, as well as informing the County School Board about this “progressive” educational inhibitor. 


Recently I had the opportunity to talk before the school board about the increase in the school budget this would cause, but was only allowed 3 minutes.  I did not get to finish what needed to be said, so that information is what follows.




My thanks to the Onslow County School Board for this opportunity to speak.


What I have to talk about has to do with the budget for the Onslow County School system and the affect Common Core will have on it.  According to the state of North Carolina, the cost for the Common Core Standards is an increase of $389 per student.  I am not sure if that is correct. 


There are Professional Development courses that are required to train the teachers on the new Common Core academic standards and methods.  This Professional Teacher Development will cost $1,931 per teacher.  There are 1,565 teachers.  That is a cost of $3,022,015.  There are the 26 Instructional Coordinators that are in the system and they will need the training.  That cost is $50,206.  I don’t know if the teacher’s assistants or the Instructional Aids will need the training, but there are 527 of them.  That would be a cost of $1,017,637.  This runs to a total of $4,089,858.  This is with a student to teacher ratio of 15 to 1. 


The records show the current student testing cost is about $10 per student.  The student testing under Common Core will go to $28 or $29 per student.  That is an increase of $18 or $19 per test per student.  The test questions will be made public after the test so each year new questions and tests will need to be developed so the cost will just go up.  These tests are purchased from an outside source.  According to the county records there are 24,046 students. With the increase in student testing charges of $18 or $19 per student per test that means the increase in testing cost will be $456,874.


I could not find any information on the cost of new text books that would be needed, so I am going to project a cost of $30 per book and I think that will be low.  This would be approximately $750,000 or in other terms, three quarters of a million dollars.  


So far that comes to a total increase in spending of $5,296,732.  Some of this will be one-time expenditures, but much will be reoccurring cost that will do nothing but climb over the years until the county and state can no longer carry the load and we have to turn our entire educational system over to the Federal Government.


This increase in cost does not include the cost of upgrades and improvements to local infrastructure.  Common Core testing in North Carolina will have to be taken on computers.  The state and local education authorities will have to examine concerns about bandwidths and technology.  Are there enough computers? Are the schools wired for the extra power requirements?  If they are going to be hardwired, are the schools wired for this with Cat-6 wiring?  Or are all the computers going to be on Wi-Fi with a central server in each school or will each school need several servers?  How about the additional bandwidth needed to connect each school with the central offices of the school system?  How often will the school system need to upgrade the computers in the classrooms?  Who pays for that?  I am guessing that will be the local county taxpayer.


There are many more questions to be asked and each question shows an increase in the cost of this “social progressive” system. 


What I had not planned to bring up was the $75 million bond request they have upcoming this year nor the approximant $86 million that stills remains on the last bond they had.  I was also not going to bring up that in a conversation with an administrative staff member at one of the informational meetings they admitted that were going to request another bond in just 2 years.  With the proposed 2013 – 2014 budget having the education department taking up over 31% of the county funds, I have to ask: Just how much does the School Board want?  I have not had a raise in 4 years.  How am I supposed to pay these additional taxes?

Yes, I want the children to be well educated, but Common Core will not get that job done.  Looking at the overall school budget and financial requests the $5 million plus that Common Core will cost in its first year may seem a small thing, but we need to stop spending money in some places now.

Common Core is not only costly, as well as not needed, it is a bad thing for the students.




Thomas H. Austin

Citizen of Onslow County

CCTPP Meeting Minutes – 3/13/2012

MARCH 13, 2012

Meeting held at Golden Corral, Morehead City, NC
Meeting called to order at 6:00pm by Chairman BOB CAVANAUGH
Pledge of Allegiance was led by EULA PARKIN
Invocation by JERE GEURIN
Attendance – 31

Chairman BOB introduced our guest speakers for this evening:
Terry Frank – Candidate for County Commissioner District 3
Elaine Crittenton – Candidate for County Commissioner District 5
Glenda Self – Board Member of Cape Lookout Marine Science School
(attended by Anita Coburn, School Board Member and
Teresa M. Parker, Principal)
Clinton Rowe – Candidate for District Court Judge running against
Judge Spencer.

Guest – Pam Hansom, Clerk of Court.

BOB announced that since there was a Republican Executive Committee Meeting tonight and Mr. Frank will be speaking there, he would have to leave our meeting early; therefore we would be asking him to speak to us first.  Decision to have both Mr. Frank and Mrs. Crittenton both speak and then proceed as time will permit with the questioning.

BOB introduced Mr. Frank (owner of Frank Door Company, Newport, NC since 2000).  Mr. Frank thanked BOB for inviting him to speak to the group tonight.  He said this is his first rodeo, that he had never run for an elected position before.  This is a whole new experience for him; and a humbling experience.  To those who have run in the past for a position, or served in an elected position, his hat was off to you because the work, the effort, whatever, is just overwhelming.  He would like to introduce himself to the group tonight with several important comments….he has never donated a penny to a Democrat,  he does have a long form birth certificate and it is not in Hawaii, he has it at home if anyone would like to inspect it.  Give him a call and you can come by and look at it.  He is married, wife Maryann, and three kids.  The oldest, Jennifer, lives in New Hampshire and has presented them with two wonderful grand children.    His son Christopher, the middle kid, works at Frank Door Company.  He has matured and grown into a position that allows Mr. Frank to take time off from work to serve the county as Commissioner. His youngest daughter just moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she is employed by the General Electric Company.  She works in Human Resources.  She works on the campus where they build locomotives, and yes they still do that today.  Locomotives are still a viable product.  Some of his civic duties:  he serves on the Carteret County Economic Council, the ABC Board, the Newport Long Range Development Committee, and he and his wife have created a Community College “Frank Door Fund”, not a scholarship, but set up to help students who have financial needs that would prohibit them from completing their education.  It could be as simple as needing a tire that they can not afford that keeps them from getting to school, or maybe even a textbook that they cannot afford.  The school has discretion over how they spend the funds.  Since 2009 the Franks have contributed $72,000.00.  They have put $42,000 or $43,000 into the hands of the students to help complete their education.  He would like to serve as County Commissioner because he would like to build on the blocks that the past Commissioners have put into place.  They have gotten us on the right position; it has been a lot of work, but he has a vision where they can put together their plan for the county, a long range plan, instead of fighting fires and going from one fire to another we can develop something where in the long run we can create good paying jobs.  We can continue having a good educational system and in the end we can create a place where our children and grandchildren can call home.  ‘When it comes Thanksgiving and Christmas, we won’t be going to New Hampshire or someplace else to visit grandchildren, they will be here with us.  To do this, I need your help.  I need your support and on the 8th I need your vote.  Thank you very much’.  (Applause)

BOB then called on Mrs. Crittenton, who was introduced by Pam Hanson.  Pam said she had known Mrs. Crittenton for many years.  Her oldest daughter, Marie, was one of the first kids who went through her Camp 911 during her years at the college.  That is when she first met and got to know Elaine and during her position as Emergency Service Director, she frequently ran into Elaine in her hospital position.  She is the Director of Infection Control at the Hospital.  That means everyone in that hospital has to answer to her.  She says where the signs “Wash Hands” go, and everything about keeping infections under control in that hospital.  She has gotten to a point in her life now where she wants to do more.  She wants to be your commissioner and I hope and think you will agree with me, we need her there.

Mrs. Crittenton thanked Pam and said she could not have hoped for a better introduction.  She is married to Keith Crittenton, her husband of almost 33 years.  He hails from Chapel Hill and Carolina lost a match this time, they did not stay in Chapel Hill, but came back here to Carteret County.   She is a native Mill Creeker.  She grew up there and went to school at West Carteret, (Class of 76).  Her father and mother, both, were from the Mill Creek area and were married just 13 days short of 61 years when she lost her dad.  Her dad was a fisherman and she actually grew up on a shrimp trawler working with her dad.  She knows what hard work is like and she knows the foundation of the county.  When she and her husband made the decision to come back here in 1989, and build their careers here and raise their child (now have 3), it was a big decision for them because the pay is not as good.  They knew they were going to be limited in their career growth.  Her husband is in health care also.  But they did make that commitment to come back to the community and she has worked at the hospital for 20 years now, part of the time as Operating Room nurse, and some of you here I may have seen or taken care of you or someone in your family.  For the last 14 years she has been the hospital Epidemiologist running the infection prevention program and employee health and wellness.  Then after 911 she also got involved with disaster planning.  If you have seen her on TV or read something in the paper, it is usually talking about a bug or some kind of preparedness or something to make the community stronger and better.  She echoes a lot of what Terry said because he obviously has the work ethics since he demonstrated that, even though he is a fairly new comer to the area and our community.  He exhibits what we all feel about our community.  Education is so extremely important.  Without education, we can not recruit talent here to take care of the citizens who choose to live here.  She works with a lot of people at the hospital that are not from this area and they would not be here if we did not have good schools for their kids.  That is a big consideration, you have to keep education strong and it means that we have to shoulder some of the responsibility because our state is broke.  So we really have to make some decisions as to how we want that dealt with and we have to stand strong with education here.  Support Carteret County Community College not Craven Community College.  Don’t let us lose our college because if we do the opportunity for a lot of kids, who can not spend the $20,000 + a year it costs with all expenses to go to one of our instate schools (trust her she knows, her daughter just finished her 5th year there and graduated).  She was able to come back here and get a job and Elaine said she was blessed that she could because this is where she wanted to be.  She had to wait almost a year to get a job, because jobs are just not here.  According to the paper the top jobs are in retail and health care.  If you don’t fall into that sector you know how hard it is to get a job.  We need to attract business here; we need sound business, we need small business.  She read recently we have 7600 small businesses in this community.  It is the engine that drives the machine.  We have to support these people.  We got to make it easy for them to come here and locate their businesses here and work here and have apprenticeships.  Not every kid is going to go to college.  They need something to do as well and help pump money into our economy.  Lastly, she wanted to speak a little bit about the environment, because without the natural resources we have here and without protecting them, we are going to lose one of our biggest industries which is tourism.  Not only that but in her time and, Mr. Garner, you said you had been around for a lot of years, she remembers when oysters came out of Newport River were as big as her hand.  You do not see those anymore.  HOWARD added ’and plentiful’.  She said yes ‘big and plentiful’.  Elaine said she had watched commercial fishing just go down the tubes and a lot of our waters. We have to take responsibility for that.  We have to protect what is underground that we drink every day as well.  There is a lot of environmental considerations.  She can tell us on her watch that you will not be surprised by a Sunday paper that tells you that there is going to be a liquid sulfur plant in downtown Morehead.  That will not happen on her watch.  That she promises us.  When she heard that at a meeting prior to the paper’s issue, she asked does the public know about this.  There were people who knew about that long before that Sunday paper.  So, the public needs to be involved and needs to have a say in what happens in their county.  This is our home.  She wants us to continue to build on what we have.  We have some wonderful things going.  Let’s just make it better.  She does have an opponent in the May 8th primary for District 5 and the district goes from Newport to Harlowe to Beaufort.  So, anybody that you know that you can talk to, tell them about her, (the six foot red head from Mill Creek), she wants to be your next commissioner.  Thank you.

Question Session.

When you first decided to run for office there is always that aha moment, when by golly, I’m running for that job.  What specifically was it that made you decide to run for County Commissioner as opposed to School Board or any other elected position.  Was there one event, news item, argument, or whatever, that made you decide to run?

Elaine said for her, it probably was not just one event, she is one of those silly individuals that reads the County Commissioners minutes every time they meet and so she knows what is going on in the county.  She has been before the boards many times, with many commissioners, over the past 25 years.  The County Commissioners choose the Board of Trustees for the hospital and the hospital has been her employer for over 20 years, so a lot of what happens in Beaufort carries across the river to the hospital.  Working there and being a very progressive person, trying to build wonderful programs to make our patients safer and give care the best it can be and make our institution down the street strong and we are doing just that.  We boast some of the best  inspections and ratings in the state.  They have implemented great programs that have been on the cutting edge, very innovative but what she sees consistently in this county is the shortsightedness or as Mr. Franks said ‘of being proactive and not reactive’.  Not waiting until you are faced with something and you got to make a decision right then.  Most of the time it costs more and may not be the best thought out decision because your hand gets forced.  She thinks we have had that happen a number of times in government and she knows for sure they have had it happen in the hospital where they really needed to look at that 15 or 20 year view.  She would love to see collectively in the community have that kind of momentum and that clarity for our future.  It is an accumulation of those things that really said to her, this is her time, and she felt it was the right place, the right person and the right time.  Her family’s situation is stable, her job is stable, she has control of it all and this is a big job, a huge commitment and she feels she has what it takes to be one of the seven on the board.
Terry said he had a shorter answer than that.  It was a  great response, but as he had mentioned before, he serves on the economic board, the ABC Board, is involved with community college, and he has enjoyed thoroughly giving back to the community; helping make decisions that take these organizations and the county in the right direction.  He has wanted to do this for a number of years.  His son grew into the business and can now give him the time…and quite honestly, Holt Faircloth deciding not to run again, so there was an opportunity for him to step up to the plate and he did.

KEN LANG said since Elaine had mentioned education, he wanted to know how she felt the Board of Education was doing on overseeing the school budget, on working with the County Commissioners, and how would she improve the relationship between the Board of Education and Board of Commissioners.

Elaine said she wished she could give him a really clear answer because that is one of those things you have to be there before you can really say from an action perspective what your action plan would be but that takes collaboration and it takes honesty and that is what she knows about bringing forces together, like in a health care setting.  When you have groups that don’t agree and don’t even want to talk about it, then you have to get them at the table and you have to talk about it openly and you have to look really hard at the budget.  The way she perceives it is that there were hard decisions that were made and she can’t say what all the motivating factors were, but it is clear that there are things that created a standoff between the commissioners and board of education recently, and it has been in the headlines recently ’78 positions cut’ and the want of a final number.  She read the dialog that exists, and when representatives from the board of education ended up before the commissioners they were asked for information that they were not told to bring and so therefore it made them look unprepared.  She thinks that is an effort in futility, that you must not sabotage one another, must have perfect communication, and when there is so much at stake for the public, the public has got to be aware that that dialog will occur.  It is a public right to go to the commissioners’ room and stand at the podium.  How many of you have ever done that?  (Many hands were raised.)  Do you see her point?  If you don’t know what the agenda is going to be and you don’t know what questions are going to be asked, how can you be prepared for it.

Terry said again it is a hard thing for them to answer when they are not a commissioner, and when you don’t have the information privy and open to you.  He thinks the commissioners have done a very good job recently in holding the school board accountable.  The tax payers have a right to know where the money is going.  It is ridiculous that we don’t know where it is going.  And yes, everybody has a right to know.  The loggerheads between both organizations has to stop.  People have to stand in line, people have to be fair, people have to be accountable.  As commissioner he will take a fair and balanced (sounds like Fox News here) approach to the whole thing.  When he got involved with the ABC there were contentious relationships with some of the towns and the ABC Board.  We sat down with the people we were having a problem with and worked it out.  If you consult anybody today, we have a working relationship with them.

BOB said he had a follow up question for Elaine.  Back to her statement about the Board of Education not being told to bring certain information to the meeting.  Are you talking about the meeting where Commissioner Harris had the power point presentation?

Elaine said she was not at the meeting but based on the minutes of the meeting and the way the minutes were captured,  she assumes that was the meeting.  It was recent.  KEN interrupted and asked that they hold that question until later and continue on with questions answerable by both candidates.

ERIC BROYLES said because we have a short meeting tonight could the candidates limit their responses to about a minute or so.

KEN said there is a group that you may be aware of in the county called the Carteret County for Concerned Citizens for Education.  Do either of you have a relationship right now with that organization.  Have you been endorsed by them at all and do you agree with the position that this group has that they want more money for education but they really have not done a very good job of what the money is being spent on.  (That is Ken’s opinion.)

Terry said he has not been endorsed by C4.  He is not affiliated with C4, and as stated before, he does agree that the tax payers have a right to know how the money is being spent.

Elaine said she too was not endorsed by C4 either.  Because she has a child in school she has received a number of those emails.  She thinks that blind spending is what got us into a lot of the mess we are in today as a  country; as individual families, community, county, state etc and she thinks we really have to step back and look at where that money is being spent and hold everybody accountable.   Health care is getting hammered hard, you hear it all the time, and she is used to having to balance her budget to the penny every month.  She runs three of them at the hospital.  She also knows, as a parent, we have to help subsidize our kids going into school these days.  Your kids can’t play sports today and unless you are willing to pay the money up front, they are not allowed to play.  It is very expensive for parents to send kids to school now.  It is not just the tax dollars that are sending kids; so she thinks we need to look at a long hard, piece by piece school budget and one thing she is really interest in is looking at the manpower of the classroom balanced against all the manpower in the schools system.  We have to strike balances.

BOB asked if anyone in the audience had a question for our candidates.  FRED DECKER said the school system could save a whole lot of money by privatizing janitorial service, lunchroom service and bus maintenance service.  But you won’t hear of it because some body’s friend is going to lose a job.  Are we looking out for the kids and tax payers by putting teachers in the class rooms or are we just providing a job for them.  What do you think about that?

Terry said that sounded more like a statement rather than a question.  If you want to consider that statement as a question, he does not have an answer for him.  He can at some point look into gathering information and getting back to him with it, but he can not answer that question tonight.  It would not be honest.

BOB asked what their position was on Charter Schools.

Terry said he supported Charter Schools.  He thought if you looked at the statistics, they provide a quality of education at maybe half the cost of the public system does.

Elaine said she agreed with Terry.  She said she sent her children to private school.  She watched the Tiller School come up and become functional.  She has talked to many parents who have utilized that program and watched it go from private to charter.  She has been involved with Cape Lookout over time as well and looking at some of the charter schools in the state, she thinks that is good use of money.  The quality of education has been very good.  The test scores are outstanding so she would support that as well.

KEN said about 40% of our taxes in Carteret County goes to supporting education.  How will you balance the school budget expenditures against the needs of the increasingly large retiree population.

Elaine said that is a big question.  Without having access to the budget, she does not feel she can give us an answer on that.  From where she stands, about 60% of the payer/mix at the hospital is managed care for government/Medicare and she knows some of the consulting that the hospital has been involved in last year, indicate the population increase in Carteret, the largest amount of that is going to be to the 64 and above, so the needs for elderly care is going to be substantial going forward unless we do something to change that and make this community more attractive to the younger families.  Personally we need to do this because she thinks otherwise it will not be a very interesting community and you are not going to have folks rendering the kind of services that the elderly are going to need.  She has seen some of the statistics at the hospital which she is not free to disclose but there have been lots of studies done.  She wants to reference our school budget against what is going on in other areas especially where they have excellent programs.  She knows they have a higher economic base perhaps than we do in some of those areas.  She wants to look at those ratios across the board.  In health care that is what they do, to assure they are staying in line to get the work done and that we are not fat, and by what she means fat – that they are not overstaffed.  They look at FTE (full time employees) by the point 2% and they tighten the budget that close and it runs a tight ship.  She thinks education is going to have to fall in line and we are going to have to work hard to have volunteerism be a bigger part in the educational system also.

Terry said he had to agree with a lot Elaine said.  He really can’t give us an answer because there is too much information not available to him as a private citizen.  He agrees that we need to evaluate the costs; we need to measure the worth of the programs, but as far as coming up with a plan for us tonight, can’t do that.

KEN said one thing he would like to say is most often people who are endorsing increased spending for the schools have been suggesting raising taxes in the county.  When you need more money just increase taxes.  With the large retirement community like we have that often is not the best answer for the older people.

Terry said, Trust me, I don’t agree in raising taxes.  It is the last thing on his mind.  God knows with the company he has in Newport, the checks they write to Washington and the checks they write to the state, it is incredible.  And the money he has earned and his employees have earned, they have worked hard to get and to give it away with absolutely no control.  No, he certainly believes we need to watch what is happening.

ERIC said recently the School Board submitted a budget that called for a 9% increase in their budget which is similar to previous yearly budget requests of 18 to 20% increases.  The cost of living is going up from 2.5 to 3.0%.  In fact this year it was 3.1% according to the federal government.  How do we handle a situation like that where we have a system that is constantly coming in requesting 3 to 4 times the cost of living.  Some have not had an increase in several years and we have a school board that is out of control with spending.  What are we going to do?

Terry said part of the answer is not just at the county board level.  Part of the answer is you all have to vote in the right school board.  It begins there.
ERIC said if you were elected County Commissioner would you hold them to tax.  Terry said, Absolutely.  He made that statement before he likes a fair and balanced approach to everything.  Fair doesn’t just mean to teachers but fair means to all the tax payers.  Elaine said who in this room hasn’t had to go to the kitchen table with your spouse and say ’the light bill just went up, or the fuel bill, or my gas tank or heating oil, or whatever.   If we pay for this, then something else has to go because there is only so much money coming in.  She thinks we all have to be responsible for spending.

Terry asked to be excused to go to Beaufort to another meeting.  SCOTT CARPENTER stood and said before Terry leaves he would like to give a testimonial about Terry.   He expounded on what a wonderful person, businessman, and what a tight ship he ran with his business and how his wife, on Fridays, cooks food and brings it in to the guys in the back on the loading dock.  That speaks a lot to the type of person we are contemplating voting for commissioner.  If you are in the 3rd District, then you are invited, on the 30th of March at 5:00, to a ’Meet and Greet” which he is hosting, in the Brandywine community building and you all are more than welcome to attend.  Even if you are not necessarily in District 3 come on down.

WAYNE WILLIS said he wanted to ask Elaine about her observation of the changing demographics in the persons that she treats … the public in the hospital.  In other words, we had 3 or 4 hundred extra brand new empty assisted living beds put in this county about 10 years ago and all of a sudden, just like that, people in Florida came and bought certificates of need from the legislature because the demographics then was that the population was getting older.  Things have changed, he doesn’t know if we have more now or is that trend still in place or leveled off.  What is your take?

Elaine said this community is a real interesting community because she has reviewed a lot of different charts and we have a lot of indigent population here, a lot of people that come in and when they present to the desk for care without a security number, guess what folks, they are here illegally but they, as a public facility, still have to treat them.  She doesn’t know how many millions of dollars of bad debt they have to write off every year.  That population is growing.  The population without insurance is growing because of jobs being lost and benefits being cut so they are giving free care to a lot more people.  All the things that she knows the hospital has invested in, the base is also factored into that.  You know how we have heard about squadrons coming and then they go somewhere else.  It is hard to plan for that because you don’t know – the government is very unpredictable as to where they are going to send those squadrons, the military personnel and families and all that goes with it.  She does feel like that most of the time their beds are filled with elderly patients.  Their health care needs are high.  The poorer the population, a lot of the time, the higher the health needs.  They have poor eating habits, don’t take care of themselves, may not get to the doctor as they need to, so the big ones, diabetes, heart disease, and smoking is a huge problem with all the diseases related to that.  She does think from time to time along the banks, all the big property owners that don’t live here, occasionally they get sick too, so they do see a smattering of them, but they always have had better care as well.  In talking to them, she feels that they have resentment at being taxed unfairly, when they don’t use our services, (and schools) because they only come here to go to the beach.  She feels if you have property in the community then you need to make an investment in the community.  The hospital is a real good cross cut view of what the population is in the county.  WAYNE said these people you are talking about, these illegal aliens that you are having to treat are not tax payers either.  They are here, working off the books, or whatever, or even in the drug business.  Elaine said if they get hurt here we have a new American citizen that we are responsible for.  WAYNE said it is also a problem for the school budget because their younguns are going to school. Elaine said we can’t change that.  Some states are taking issue with that, but it is a government decision.

BOB said Energy has always been an issue here in Carteret County.  Windmills have been kicked around.  What is Elaine’s position on wind energy here in our county or off our coast.

Elaine said, if you study the geology of this area, you will realize that not far off shore there is a significant fault line and what happened in Japan can happen here just as easily.  She thinks when we start drilling off shore, you run the risk of a couple of things.  You start disturbing the plates and moving rock around, shifting things beneath the soil on the bottom of the ocean floor, you do not know what the results are going to be.  When the oil rigs went in in Louisiana everybody thought it would kill the fishing there but it actually made the fishing better, up until the big oil rig spill issue with BP and they are still cleaning that up and will be doing so for a long time to come because a lot of that oil is still on the ocean floor.  She would hate to see that kind of thing happen here with all the estuaries we have.  It would kill so much of the sea life and wet lands that we have.  So you have to throw everything out on the big scale.  Right now Obama is pushing us to buy oil from Brazil.  He is at the beck and call of George Soros.  Brazilians right now are the biggest spenders in this country, of all the foreigners that visit, because we are pumping a lot of money into their economy.  As long as we are hungry for energy like we are, we are going to have to learn to make some concessions.  As long as our demands are there, then how would we like it delivered.  Gas prices are going up.  They are going to be $5.00 a gallon this summer.  She has studied the wind farms and you do pay a price for that also.  They disturb the ecology of the area, especially the birds.  But she feels you are looking at the lesser of the evils.  She has talked to NC State about the potential for putting a turbine on her property.  There is a lot of wind velocity here.  If we can harness that natural resource in some way…it doesn’t have to be a towering windmill, there are other ways to look at turbines then maybe we should explore them a little bit and not be so closed minded about it.  We have to get energy from somewhere…where are we going to get it?  Discussion on turbines/windmill problems followed.  SCOTT said he had seen studies on the natural gas that is off our coast.  What are her thoughts on drilling for natural gas and the benefits to be derived from it.  Elaine said of all the science she has studied she knows less about natural gas drilling than any of the other energys.  Looking at oil particularly, she was very concerned about that.  She has never been a natural gas customer, so she is not really familiar with natural gas.  Certainly the port is important to us but she was unable to be in two places at once, so she did not attend the maritime meeting last week but they are having a lot of public meetings about the port.  Our port is not thriving.  It hasn’t been for a long time.  A lot of business has been diverted.  SCOTT said that is why he thinks we need to think outside the box.  We need people who are creative.  You have to take risks.  If you are going to be successful or prosperous, you gotta take some risks.  So maybe we need to reconsider and study up and when or if we do elect you (Elaine) as District 5 commissioner, we can look at that as an option for some extra income.  Elaine said the one thing she always says is that energy in every opportunity she has seen when it is related to gas or petroleum of any kind, is that it is so corrupt and managed in such a corrupt way because of monies, she feels they have to hold the scientific community and the government responsible…and the public but frequently they are not informed until it is too late.  As a tax payer, she resents that.   She thinks they should have public forums and talk about it.  You tell the truth and present the sides, and then make the decisions together.  That is what she was thinking about with collaboration.  If you are concealing the truth and only tell part of the story and you don’t agree to talk, then you are not going to make any inrows at all…whether it is schools or energy.

KEN said Elaine had kind of touched on the Port system so that was kind of one of his questions.  Just in response to what Elaine said ‘our port is run by the state’.  The state is a government.  Government doesn’t run businesses very well and that is a prime example of it, so, if we are going to make our port work we need to get the state out of it.  This might not be a fair question, since you are relatively new but there has been a lot going on lately in the county commissioners with concerns about fire and EMS operations in the county.  He was just appointed to the Western Carteret ILA.  He took over Robin Comer’s position.  We have a member of the Fire and EMS Budget Commission here tonight also, HOWARD GARNER, is on that board, so it is a concern to us and he was just wondering if she had any thoughts on it.

Elaine said after 911 she got involved in disaster planning.  They did not have a disaster planning group and the municipalities would not talk to each other and everything was so polarized.   She was charged with drawing the groups together and we filled the civic center on November 15, 2001, and made a call to those who attended for a task force to come forth to work through some of the issue we faced as a community.  As it evolved it became more of an emergency planning response and in trying to bring some of the homeland security funding into the county, you had to meet certain criteria because this money was coming down from the federal government to the state.  Places like Wake County and Mecklinburg County had their hands out and getting hundreds of thousands of dollars and we had to rally our forces together to get some of that money here and bolster some of the squads.  She lived in an area that was served exclusively by a volunteer squad and she has never been permitted to work with that squad because her medical career was so demanding she was unable to find the time to get the extra education she had to take and she has been in nursing over 30 years.  She could not meet the education requirement to ride her own squad.  She was a trauma /critical care nurse and has worked in more situations than she could ever begin to tell us about and yet she could not answer a call because she could not meet the requirements the state imposed.  Working with emergency management, based on the calls she knows about from one end of this county to the other, there is an equity that currently exists in health care to the population.  She went on to give examples of types of calls, personnel attending, and responses to.  (Description of her father’s death was especially touching to all in attendance…not many dry eyes.)  She asked us ‘from Cedar Island to Stella, do we not need to make rapid response and sound response evenly distributed across the entire county.  If you can not agree with her on that then she does not need to be our commissioner.
HOWARD asked her if Mill Creek had paid employees at the time of her fathers death.  She said they did not.  She said when she asked for the run report on that call, there were some people shaking in their shoes, because she could have had the county take care of her the rest of her life because that call was handled so badly.  They do have paramedics now during the daylight hours.  HOWARD said he does not understand why people who live down there did not know where to go to find your father.  They were native Mill Creekers on the ambulance, weren’t they?  She said this county is full of little dirt roads, lanes, they may be marked or not, and instructions from local residents are not necessarily the best.  HOWARD said he had traveled every back road and path throughout the county for over 21 years, so he knows what she is talking about, but really he thinks that Mill Creek has one of the more honest departments; and maybe better managed; and their requests for funds is more thought out than most.  Pam said she thought that what Elaine was trying to say was there is a different level of service.  HOWARD said he agrees but when you try to get them equitable you have these fights and power struggles.  Elaine said there is your problem.  They need to go away.  That is about ego and not about care.  HOWARD said he agreed, but you try to do it.  Did she read the newspaper about the Fire and EMS and Commissioners meeting Monday night a week ago and what went on there?  Pam said she understood it was about combining Stacy with Sea Level and Atlantic. HOWARD said Stacy does not have the population to maintain the number of  volunteers required for their department, but they do not want to give it up.  Elaine said if you ever go through what she went through… this is a hard county to serve.  Carteret County Hospital sits about center geographically and when she did home health, the days she went from Cedar Island to Stella took two hours between clients.  HOWARD said since he got on this commission, he has found that they lose about 60% of the patients.  She said part of the problem is the older volunteers are not able to do it anymore and the young just doesn’t ‘have the time’.  Her husband is a cardiovascular tech that works in the cath lab in New Bern, but can’t ride the squad, even if they hear the call, because the state won’t license him to do it.  HOWARD said he thought these unions are getting lobbyists and they are setting up requirements for volunteers so high that people no longer want to volunteer because they can’t afford the time.  Elaine said the only way we can fix that is at the polls, by working for people that we feel will do a better job and that is all she is asking that we do here.  We are just trying to make it the very best it can be and she promises us that is what she will do.  BOB thanked her for coming tonight and for the very informative and enlightening presentation.

KEN announced that we got an email today from the John Locke Foundation and they have cancelled the Constitutional (Federalist Papers) Workshop that was to be held Saturday because there were not enough enrollees and they cited in the email that other conflicting events were going on (like March Madness/NCAA Tournament) at the same time.  They hope to reschedule it again and if you had already signed up for it, they are going to refund your registration fee.  Then they will get back to us as to when they can conduct it at a later time.

BOB said as most of you know the charter for the Cape Lookout Charter School has been yanked by the state like a month after they were granted a renewal license.  Glenda Self, a member of the Cape Lookout School Board, is here to explain the problems and possibly let us know what we can do to help.  She asked if we would be willing to sign their petition that she would pass around, that that would be one way we can help.  Glenda said her son was a student at the Cape Lookout Charter School and that is how she became familiar with the school and its kind of learning.  She feels she brought a unique perspective to the board.  She had looked at what people had said, how they thought it was an alternative school (which it is totally not).  She has received more of an education working with the charter school because she also had an opportunity of working with her other children who had followed the traditional pathway of public schooling.  It is wonderful for her as a parent, because she knows all of her son’s teachers.  She said she was intimidated by the audience and all she had heard here tonight…talking about the big budgets and she is only familiar with smaller budgets.  The first experience she has had with an educational budget has been with Cape Lookout and to her it was amazing coming in as a parent because none of these things are shared.  Her oldest daughter is 24 and she is going to NC State and all those years of PTA, and little fund raisers; never once did the school ever sit down and really tell them what they were raising the funds for.  This is now her passion at Cape Lookout.  It has been distressing to her to see what appears to be happening; the state struggling for funds…they’ve made all these improvements but what she sees as a board member and a parent they are really not getting any support from the state, county commissioners, and she has never spoken to even one person on the board of education.  She doesn’t know if that is part of the role, or how they are supposed to be getting all of this, but anyway it is now coming down to some things we need to do.  We are on a crunch.  The kids are rallying and she thinks Cape Lookout and the community are going to come together.  They definitely have some very real needs and you can help in a real meaningful way.  They are asking for money.  BOB asked if she could explain the $46,000 shortfall and how it happened.  She said she was not totally up on what had happened since it had come from a previous board and some things were very astronomical like you were talking about.  That financial responsibility that she looked at in the school budget she looked at as her home budget also.  Everything was being cut back but the rent was astronomical.  She feels that this board has gone in and gotten some of these things reduced and as they have been talking and collaborating and trying to do more of that outreach we definitely have reduced a lot of those costs.  BOB asked how many kids they have now.  She said they have 86 now.  BOB asked if all the kids had disciplinary problems with previous schools.  He understood they were all problem children.  Glenda said she thought that was part of the misconception of the school.  It really is about choice.  She feels they should be able to go into the other schools and recruit all eighth graders, talk to their parents and give them a choice as to which school they want to attend and where they want to get their education.  For her son, he was making straight “F’s”.  He has ADHD and he was lost.  He couldn’t follow the course.  He tried but after being sent to detention and not being able to learn with that, she enrolled him into Cape Lookout.  He is now enjoying more of the one on one instruction.  Since she has been on the board they have bought the assessment software and she just got a report card last night and he had two A’s, two B’s and a C.   BOB said she mentioned the one on one instruction, what is the teacher/student ratio at Cape Lookout.  How many teachers do they have.  Teresa Parker, Principal of Cape Lookout, said they have 10 teachers and 86 students.  BOB said that is a pretty good ratio.  Glenda said they also offer after school tutoring also.  BOB said this is for 9 through 12th grade education level and they cover all the mandated state regulated courses and all?  They said yes.  KEN said he read in Carolina Journal this morning that there are lines forming to get kids enrolled in the charter schools in NC now that the legislature has removed the cap.  They can not add charter schools fast enough in other parts of the state to meet the demand.   He would like to know how those other charter schools are getting the word out that your kids can come to our school.  Is there a marketing effort or are there rules that make that difficult to get your story out about what you have to offer.  Glenda said they have a difficult time because the state has been trying to close them.  The kids get scared.  They do not know what to do…am I going to have school tomorrow or am I not?  So then that word gets out, so they say I can’t send my kid to that school;  I don’t know if they are going to be open.   Therefore they are having to fight this image to the end.  That is what is happening in trying to get more kids enrolled because they keep being told the state wants to close them.  It makes it hard to promote and puts all kinds of stress on these kids.  Are they going to be able to get the kind of education they would like to have.  That makes it hard for us to market.  And they have been labeled as bad kids.  They are not.  They are everyday kids like everybody else.  They just need a little more one on one attention.  A lot of these kids have very high IQ’s.  They just think outside the box.  They are not mainstream kids.  They think a little different.  Elaine said many  charter schools are being fueled by a much more affluent society and they are basically becoming state supported private schools and they are becoming very very select.  In our county it is not really that way.  Cape Lookout has had some troubled youth in the past.  Her son has ADD and it was not detected until high school when it got a little bit tough and he could not focus; could not draw his mind down and focus on the level of math that he needs and his grades started tanking.  Do you know he was not once been spoken to by a counselor while in public school.  They never wondered why his grades were dropping.  They want everybody to fit into a slot and not be any trouble, just get mainstreamed along; and anybody that is outside the lines gets lost without people like these ladies from Cape Lookout.  HOWARD said she said that not once had a counselor in the public school talked to her kid.  They have counselors but they are not doing their job in his opinion.  We have a member whose kid after 3 years of public school could not read.  She home schooled him for 6 months, had him up to reading level, and entered him into a local Christian School and today the kid is in the Coast Guard Academy.  Does that tell you something about our public schools.  One of our members here has talked to Dr. Novey and from the discussion he determined, in his opinion, that Dr. Novey did not support charter schools.  One of the Cape Lookout ladies said that was the way it felt to them also.  ERIC said from what he had seen, and determined, a lot of the Cape Lookout students that have come there would not have otherwise graduated from high school.  Cape Lookout has what a 70% graduation rate now?  Glenda said when they say a lot of these kids are at risk of not graduating and then cite a low graduation rate, it kinda seems unfair.  Now with all the controversy, the kids are not sure they will be able to graduate and she worries that they will not find their way in the public school system.  A lot of these kids had felt that they had been weeded out of the public school system so why should they want to go back.  WAYNE asked how many autistic kids did they have percenta
ge wise?  She mentioned ADD but it is in the same ball park.  She said she knows that they have exceptional children, and she thinks it may be 5% but not how many have actually been diagnosed as such.  She doesn’t know how many have been diagnosed with ADD, autistic, emotionally disturbed, or such either.  She is looking at what they submitted for a specific pot of funds for exceptional children so they can met their specific individual educational plans and accommodations and the number of students that are requiring adaptive/differentiated learning devices or instruments.  Mrs. Parker said for autistic children there is a certain certification that the school has to have and the teacher has to have in order to teach those kids and if you do not have it the government will shut you down anyway.  Cape Lookout does not have that certification.  The county does.  The county could help them if they had a child like that, but they do not get that assistance.  DENNIS TOMASO said he understood why the kids would be under a lot of stress, but what about the teachers.  Mrs. Parker said the teachers they have are very dedicated to the school and students.  They care a lot about these kids and they are all very highly qualified so they feel very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of teachers.  ERIC said he understands that since the $46,000 reduction, a lot of their teachers have taken a cut in pay until the end of the year.  Mrs. Parker said they have.  Enrollment drives the budget.  When they went up for consideration, they were only going to give them a two year charter and they need four years or it is not worth it.  How can you approve your upcoming Freshmen without being able to guarantee them a four year school term.  They awarded that, but now it is kind of like we are being given until the end of the year to have this budget stuff, but the damage is already done.  Just when we could go out and recruit to increase the enrollment, now it is left up to us to raise those funds.  We are doing a pave the way campaign and they are hoping it is going to put them in the black as well as give them some funding to fight.  They have until June 30 to appeal.  It is their intention to fight.  The students are getting a lot of that one on one we were talking about and the teachers are staying after school all during the week and opening on Saturday (Saturday Academy is what they are calling it) to make sure that our students hit that 60/60 rule.  She is assuming this is for all schools, not just for charter schools to meet.  She has a lot of questions about the 60/60 rule.  It does not make a lot of sense to her, but anyway you have to make sure that you have 60% of your students pass the EOG’s and have a 60% growth or improvement.  We are making sure that the kids are doing that.  We have to raise this money for them.  Please buy a brick.  Buy it for someone you love, yourself, dedicate it to a class or the class of 2012.  The bricks are $140.00 and you can have it engraved or it is $112.00 if you buy two or more.  Plus we will take any donation that you would like to give.  If we need to hire an attorney, then we will definitely need funding.  They are hoping to sell at least 1000 bricks.  The Town of Morehead has made an agreement to install them at no cost and that memorial will be there forever, regardless of what their future is.  Letters of support (or to the Editor), and endorsements of the school, are always a big help.  They are actively looking for board members, getting that collaboration, and receiving your time and talents, and your voice.  We need more voices to be heard, ideas and contributions.  If you can not be a board member, come and attend the board meetings.  They are open to the public.  BOB said as he understands it the state took back the funds because they did not have the population that they initially anticipated.  How many students does it come out to that you anticipated and what you ended up with.  Mrs. Parker said each year you are supposed to have an increase. Well that was hard for them to do with the state threatening to close them.  So their increased figure was 109 students and after the first 20 days of school they only had 70 students, but they only funded for 65 and that was supposed to take them for the whole year.  BOB asked why wouldn’t they increase it to the actual student load.  Mrs. Parker said she tried to argue that and they said well if it had been a 20 or more student shortage they could argue but right now we are talking  only 5 students.  BOB asked during that one month between where they approved the charter for another year and the next month they yanked it.  What happened in that one month’s period?  Mrs. Parker said that is when they saw their shortfall and they called back and said not only do you have to show a growth in your testing scores, but you have to be debt free by June 1.  BOB thanked Glenda Self, Teresa Parker and Anita Coburn for coming tonight.  They had given us a much better perspective on the Cape Lookout School.  He reminded everyone that they needed their brick information by July 12, so anyone buying a brick, please get the money in soon.

BOB introduced Clinton Rowe who is running for District Judge.  He said Mr. Rowe had spoken to the TEA Party at Cape Carteret and tonight is the first chance he has had to come and talk with us.

Mr. Rowe said he was running for District Judge in the 9th District.  The District is made up of Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico Counties.  There are 6 District Court seats.  He is running against a sitting court judge, Judge Spencer.  She was appointed 18 years ago by Gov. Hunt and has never had competition until now.  He explained how that happened.  Unlike most political offices if you run and lose you just get to go back to your job.  In this job, if you run and lose you get to go back to your job which entails appearing before the person whose job you tried to take.  They are not too happy when you do that.  In fact it is so rare the last 16 years, out of the 6 district court judges that come up for election, every 4 years, there have only been 2 contested elections.  The reason he is running is he thinks our courts should be more efficient.  That is a big issue.  He had some friends that, shortly before he decided to file, had waited 19 months for a decision from  Judge Spencer.  That is absurd.  There is no reason that a decision should not be timely.  We already have a backlog in our court system and if you come in to hire me today with maybe some custody issue, he is going to look at you and tell you it is going to take two years, probably, to get your trial.  There is no reason to add 19 months for a decision on top of that.  It is bad enough you have to wait two years to resolve your family’s turmoil.  Everybody always asks him why the backlog?  It is twofold.  We have some judges that work really hard and some who don’t.  The other thing, in all fairness, is Greenville used to be part of our district and they broke it apart because of the size of Greenville.  Obviously their population is much larger than ours but they have less divorce cases than we do.  The reason being the military.  Anytime you go where there is a military base, domestic cases go up tremendously.  It is unfortunate but it is a reality.  But we can still make efficient decisions and get it timely.  The most important thing when you go in front of a judge is to have a fair and impartial decision maker.  At the very least you want decision making.  You want a decision, even if it is a bad one vs. no decision what so ever.  He is running because he thinks he can do that.  He has been practicing about 13 years.  He has been in the court system.  He has practiced in all three counties in our district and from practicing in those courts, he has seen what works and what does not.  It is time for some innovation to come into the court system.  It is rare to see changes in the court system.  It is the way, unfortunately it is designed.  He is able to answer some questions, but unfortunately, there are a lot of rules about what they can and can not talk about.  If he looks at you and says “I can’t answer that”, he promises that he is not blowing off your question.  He spent a lot of time getting his law license and he doesn’t want to have to mail it back to Raleigh.  They are ethically bound by what they can and cannot talk about.  What he does believe is that we need judges to follow the law as written.  We do not need policy maker judges who interpret the law as they want it to be.  Here is why he believes that: if you do not follow the laws as written in every single case, the next person coming up may not get the same fair hearing.  If you are applying 2 or 3, or 4, or 100 different standards, how is someone getting a fair trial.  The basis in America is that you are entitled to a fair trial.  And if everybody is not treated equally you are no longer getting a fair trial.  Mr. Rowe said he has done a lot of juvenile delinquency cases.  The charter schools are few and far between but they save you a lot of court system money.  It seems that kids that are getting in trouble…let him digress a little….when he grew up (in a Marine household) and you got in trouble in school, you got whupped in school and when you got home you got whupped again by your dad.  What used to get him a whupping in school now gets sent to the court system.  You will see a lot of kids in regular school that are in the court system because whupping is no longer in effect.  He is not here to applaud the school, he is just telling you that for a fact.  He doesn’t know how much the charter school saves you, but he does know he has had clients who were in regular school and gone on to a charter school and he hasn’t seen them back.  Unfortunately it is rare to not see one return.  Upon being questioned as to his conservatism and donations to political parties he answered that coming from the strict family he did he is very conservative.  However, where he normally does not donate to political parties, he did donate to Beverly Perdue since she was from New Bern.  He likes Pat McCrory but he does not think Pat is the most conservative person there is out there.  If you look at some of the monies he has spent in Charlotte, he was afraid that eastern Carolina would not fair well on finances with him as governor.  He has not been happy with Beverly Perdue at all.  He did donate to her, but now thinks it was a mistake, but he did what he thought was best for his county at the time.  BOB asked him what made him decide to run.  He said he did not think it was one event or thought, it was just 13 years of practice and seeing things he did not like.  Don’t get him wrong, he does think we have some judges who do a really good job.  Don’t think he is coming in here and saying we do not have good judges.  But we have one or two that just doesn’t do their job.  He is going in there trying to do a job and work.  He sees citizens coming in to the court system.  He has had clients that have been victims of crimes and they are sitting there wasting their day and losing money and at some point you have to say enough.  It is not an easy road to run against a sitting judge, and if you lose you have to go back in front of them, but at some point you have to take that chance.  He was raised that sometimes you have to take the hard road.  Discussion on cases being continued, reasons used, and how it affects everyone.  Mr. Rowe thanked us for having him come and talk with us.

EULA PARKIN said she was proud to inform us that the Girl Scouts turned 100 years old this year and she had her 50 year pin.  She had bought a lifetime membership back in 1991 and she discovered recently that her membership expires in 2091.  She is in big trouble.  She is going to have to put out more money.  They had a wonderful day on Saturday at the Glad Tiding Church, She is hoping her picture will appear in our newspaper.  She gave some Girl Scout statistics for information.

Discussion on the ferry tolls.  HOWARD said he talked to Norman Sanderson yesterday and he said every time a ferry leaves the dock it costs $28.00 per car on the ferry, (averaging all the ferrys).  Norman has to pay those fees because he lives in Arapahoe and has a business in Havelock.  He and his wife, both, will have to pay the fee.  And for the number of times he travels it is going to cost him 30 cents per trip to pay the fee and use the ferrys.  HOWARD says he does not see the big deal over it.  KEN said he heard on the radio on his way to the meeting that the Cherry Branch ferry was cutting back on their schedule.  HOWARD said that is the ferry that Norman uses and he said when he came to work that morning there had been 4 cars on board.  He thinks they do need to cut back.  WAYNE said he had a suggestion for raising funds.  Make those who ride bicycles have to buy a tag to go on their bicycle.  They are using public roads and not paying a nickel for riding that bicycle.  If you don’t think there is some out there head east on 70 and see for yourself.  HOWARD said that is because you live on a Scenic Byway.

STEVE BEST said he was the coordinator for the county on the Marriage Amendment and if you had not signed the petition and would like to do so, please see him.  He also had yard signs coming in soon and if you would like to have some, please see him.  BOB said there was a Marriage Amendment Rally on Friday, April 20, in Raleigh at 11 am.

BOB announced that March 24 is the TEA Party Rally in DC about the Supreme Court reviewing Obamacare.  The TEA Party is trying to get at least 40,000 people there for Saturday.  Americans for Prosperity have their rally on Tuesday, the 27th and are trying to keep this on a continuing news cycle. The TEA Party is also going to picket the Supreme Court on Monday following the rally on Saturday.  RUTH, who is going to drive her van, has a couple of openings, since STEVE has determined he was unable to attend.  BOB said he thinks one has already been filled tonight.  Discussion on the possibility of another van if needed.

All were disappointed in the seminar scheduled for this Saturday, on the Federalists Papers, has been cancelled.  Hope that they will reschedule as soon as possible.  HOWARD said he thought this was one of the things that has our country so screwed up.  We need to get our priorities straight.  He feels this seminar is much more important than a ball game.  We advertised this event (on the Constitution) last year and we did not this year, so some of the blame lands on us.

BOB said we have envelopes for donations to Norman Sanderson.  Where Norman is glad to receive $10, $20, or $50 dollar donations, Randy Ramsey has out of state and out of county money in the thousands coming in from all the high rollers he knows.  Norm Sanderson is an excellent representative for us in the house, hoping to move up to the Senate to take Jean Preston’s seat.  We also have Ken Jones from Pine Knoll Shores who is also running for the same seat.  Bob said he would be happy to have either one of them winning that race.  We are leaving it to the voters to choose which they want, Norm or Ken.  The one we are not recommending is Randy Ramsey.  He has been a long time heavy donater to the Democratic Party.  He feels it is unconscionable that he donates to one party and then runs on the other party’s ticket.  Have some integrity.  If you are a Democrat, fine, then run on the Democratic ticket.  One thing the TEA Party wants to do is bring honesty and integrity back to the elections and hold our elected officials feet to the fire.  What we care about is our three core principles.  “Fiscal Responsibility”, “Limited Government” and “Promotion of Free Market capitalism” and we are going to support the candidates who support these principles.

KEN asked if BOB would mention early voting which starts April 19th.  There are two areas for the early voting, (2 places in Cape Carteret and one in Beaufort).  We need volunteers to be down at the polling places during the early voting period, just like we did during the election in 2010.  We are going to have a list of recommendations to pass out, trying to encourage people to vote (one way or the other, preferable for our candidates).  BOB thinks that instead of using ’recommend’ this year, since we can not use support or ask to vote for, we will say these candidates support the TEA Party’s 3 core principles.  So we need volunteers to man the early voting polls.  Several volunteered.  KEN said he had given BOB a copy of the list of candidates and we can refine, complete and update the list of candidates we agree on supporting.  PEGGY volunteered to make the handout and run the copies.  May 8th is the primary election and that is where the rubber meets the road.  That is where we get out candidates lined up for the general election which is in November.  (STEVE said don’t forget the Marriage Act).  We need to find out what the primary ballot looks like so we can formulate our handout to be in the same order.
KEN said they already have one posted at the Board of Elections.  We need to have all precincts covered on primary day so we can pass out our little voter guide like we did in 2010. A lot of people asked for a copy or waved their lists that they had cut out of the paper earlier.  Very few people turn out for the primaries, so we need to crank up our neighbors and friends and encourage them to get out and vote.  That is the only way we are going to unseat these long standing candidates that have been there forever.  Mr. Rowe is running against one of them and Frank Palombo is running against another, Walter Jones.  Then we will need to man the tables again for the general election.  Whatever precinct you are in, consider volunteering for duty not only on primary day, but also the general election in November.  KEN wanted to know if we had accurate type banners to use.  Last time his banner had some wrong information or something like that.  We need to check with whoever has our supplies.  We are going to need funds for printing our list in the paper and last time it cost about $200.00 for one printing.  If we print for a week that is like $600.00.

STEVE asked if we ever decided on what we were going to do…a fund raiser or rally?  BOB said that he had promised at the last meeting that he would talk to Randy at the White Swan about catering an event for us but had not had the opportunity.  We had discussed having a double event (one in Cape Carteret and one here in Newport).  KEN said he would like to put that to rest now.  Only do one fund raiser here in Newport at the Fort Benjamin Park.  If that goes well, then maybe later we might consider one at Cape Carteret or even two at the same time.  All agreed.

BOB invited any of the members who attend this meeting that would be interested in attending a meeting in Emerald Isle, he would recommend that one Tuesday night when they are meeting and after our meeting we go there.  That group is really growing and well attended. DIANE LANG said they had collected $368.00 which almost pays the treasury back for the bill board we voted to help sponsor.

BOB said STEVE may not need help for the movie projector as he had asked for.  He is awaiting further word on that.  Someone he knows is selling one and he is hoping to get a decent deal on it.

EULA again reminded us that she was selling the luminaries for Relay for Life for $10.00 each..

BOB said he believed we had finally made a decision to support Sam Sanford’s We Care Project in lieu of Wounded Warriors.  BOB said he thought we could use the same design we already use, since it does not state Wounded Warriors. Everyone let him know it did have Wounded Warriors printed on our shirts.  PEGGY asked that we consider using the We Care emblem, since it is very eye catching and attractive.

Meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.
Minutes submitted by PEGGY GARNER, Secretary

Carteret County Board of Education Continues to Lie?

Recent articles printed in the Carteret News Times by the Carteret County School System sadly continue to mislead the public about the real school system employment numbers. One might expect the Carteret News Times to vet the claims of the School Board before printing without comment articles that inflate low budget numbers and high layoff numbers.


According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, the number of state-supported public education personnel increased by 4,720 over the previous year. But the Carteret County School administration under the direction of Superintendent Dan Novey and the Carteret News Times continues to mislead the public on the actual status of the school budget and the personnel status.


Read more at the NC Civitas site on

Preliminary DPI Personnel Data Shows Increase in State-Supported Education Jobs

Presentation to the Carteret County Board of Education, 6/28/2011

School Board Speech by Eric Broyles

Members of the School Board, Superintendant Novey, and citizens of Carteret County.  The greatest gift, other than life, we can give a child is a quality education.  I have come tonight to talk on that subject.  An education prepares a child for life endeavors and the future, whatever their course may be.  Before starting, I would like to recognize Principals and Teachers at Harkers Island Elementary, Tiller School, White Oak Elementary, Broad Creek Middle, and Croatan High that contributed to making these schools top in their scholastic field by delivering a quality education to our children.  In 2010, all of these school finished scholastically in the top 10 percentile within their respective school categories statewide.  Special recognition goes to the Tiller School, one of our charter schools, which finished scholastically within the top 2 percentile in the state.  These are our schools of scholastic excellence within the county. I await the reporting of our schools scholastic results for 2011.

Even though some of our schools achieved scholastic excellence in 2010, I am deeply concerned about the quality of education some of our children are receiving within Carteret County Schools.  In 2010, we have 7 schools (e.g. – Atlantic Elementary, Beaufort Elementary, Smyrna Elementary, Beaufort Middle, Newport Middle, East Carteret High, and West Carteret High) performing in the 25% to 50% percentile scholastic performance range in their respective school categories.  Atlantic Elementary is ranked 387, Beaufort Elementary is ranked 551, and Smyrna is ranked 427 out of 1350 North Carolina Elementary schools.  Beaufort Middle is ranked 217 and Newport Middle is ranked 180 out of 617 North Carolina Middle schools.  West Carteret High is ranked 153 and East Carteret High is ranked 260 out of 563 North Carolina High Schools.  From 2005 to 2010, based on the ABC End-of-Grade Tests reported by N.C. Report Cards, Atlantic Elementary saw a 11% decline in overall student Reading test scores; Beaufort Elementary a 11.4% decline in Reading test scores;  Smyrna Elementary  a 9.5% decline in Reading test scores and a 6.8% decline in Math Scores; Beaufort Middle a 6.6% decline in Reading test scores; Newport Middle a 12.9% decline in Reading and a 1.9% decline in Math scores; East Carteret High saw a 1.9% decline in English 1 scores, a 9.7% decline in Algebra 1 scores, and a 7.4% decline in Physical Science scores; and West Carteret High saw a 1.5% decline in English 1 scores, and a 9.7% decline in Algebra 1 scores.  During the same time period, Carteret County School District saw a 9% decline in overall Reading scores but a 16.3% increase in Math scores for both elementary and middle schools.  The area of scholastic achievement that should concern us all is the gradual decline of Reading test scores being seen across the board in most schools.  If our children cannot read or write then how will they be able to perform and compete in a highly competitive and technological society?  In the near future, I will be asking our County Board of Commissioners to establish an independent board of non-school employed citizens whose sole purpose is to conduction independent literacy testing every 4 years at the 4th and 8th grade level to make sure the students within our county are receiving adequate training in reading and writing skills. We do not want a reoccurrence of what happened in Detroit where 44% of the tested citizens were found to be functionally illiterate.

Presently, 8,578 students attend Carteret County Schools.  The student to teacher ratio for Carteret County Schools is 12.08 to 1, which happens to be one of the higher school system students to teacher ratios within the state and nation.  This ratio is based on 710 full time teachers, which is an increase over the previous year .  This ratio does not factor in the 178 assistant teachers that are available to support the full time teachers.  If it did, the ratio would be closer to 9.6 to 1.  Currently, Carteret County ranks number 12 out of 115 school districts in the amount it expends for each student’s education.  In other words, Carteret County taxpayers are paying approximately $700 more per student versus the average amount spend by other counties in North Carolina to make sure its students receive a high quality education.  This would lead one to naturally draw a conclusion that the majority of our schools and school district should be performing in the top 10 to 15 percentile in the state, considering the financial resources and teacher manpower the taxpayers have committed to the education of our children.  Even though some schools are performing at a high level of excellence as stated above, almost half the school district is not.  It is unacceptable to the taxpayers and the parents of the students attending these seven schools, which are performing in the 25% to 50% percentile range.  This leads one to believe that it is not the number of teachers employed by a school system that leads to scholastic achievement and excellence, but the quality of its teachers and the training dispensed by them.  Maybe it is time to hirer and pay more for Quality teachers and be less concerned with the number of teachers we employ.

During the last school board hearing, I asked that the overall ABC End-of-Course scores and student to teacher ratio be posted by teacher on the School System Website.  Each teacher and school principal performance should be accountable to the taxpayers and parents of school children.  Furthermore, based on the need for an increase in scholastic performance within the seven schools mentioned above, I respectfully request that the Superintendant and School Board conduct a full performance review and audit of those 7 schools and make the necessary personnel adjustments and etc. to assure these schools and their students can also achieve the same level of scholastic excellence like the Tiller School, Whiteoak Elementary, Broad Creek Middle, and Croatan High.  It is time to raise the bar!  The taxpayers and parents of school children demand more, and our students deserve much more than some of them have received.  It is time to give all of our children a quality education!  GOD bless our children, our educators, and all citizens from wherever they hail from!

Presentation to Carteret County Board of Education, June 7, 2011

My name is Eric Broyles of Morehead City. I am the Vice Chairman of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots.  I appreciate you allowing me to speak tonight.  The greatest gift a parent, community, or nation can give a child is a quality education.  A quality education not only prepares an individual for the future, but is an investment into the future success of a society or nation.  There are several elements that determine an individual’s quality of learning and education, which are:

·    Nutritional meal
·    Quality Teacher
·    Parental support and coaching
·    Lesson plan and learning materials
·    Educational setting

I am sure there are many more elements that can be added to the list, but the first two are the most important.  A hungry child does not learn and a bad teacher does not educate.  Now onto the main purpose of this speech, which address school system accountability and reporting of information to parents and taxpayers.

Over the past several months, we have heard a lot of discussion from both sides of the aisle about classroom sizes and how it impacts the quality of education our children receive.  Yet when you visit Carteret County School Boards website, it becomes a challenging adventure for any citizen to obtain information on class sizes and scholastic performance at the classroom/teacher level.  I do not know why the information is not openly and readily disclosed, but parents and taxpayers alike have a right to know the overall scholastic performance of a class and its teacher.  Individual student testing and performance information should never be released in accordance with current regulation or privacy laws.

As a taxpayer and parent, I am asking that our School Board and superintendent publish the classroom size statistics and overall scholastic scores of teachers in an easily accessible and readable format yearly on its website.  This will create a level of accountability at the public and tax payer level.  We do not want another Detroit, where 47% of the population is estimated to be functionally illiterate.  Openness and full disclosure has always been the best policy.  As many speakers pointed out the other night at the Commissioner’s meeting, we owe this to our children and their future prosperity.

Presentation to Carteret County Commissioners, June 6, 2011

Commissioners & Fellow Citizens,

My name is Eric Broyles of Morehead City, North Carolina.

On a previous occasion, I spoke about the negative impact that raising taxes or fees at this time would have on senior citizens and the unemployed, who are on fixed or limited incomes.  They represent approximately 30% of the county.  Both citizen groups have seen food, basic commodities, and gas prices spiraling up over 100% in the past several years.  Based on school board statistics, 41.4% or 3,561of our school students are on free or reduced meals because their parent(s) cannot afford to provide lunch for them.

Currently, there is a lot of propaganda out there about the poor quality of education our students will receive if we increase class sizes.  Many studies like the “Brooking Institute Brown Center Study on Class Size” and “A Lesson in Smaller Class Sizes” by Nina Rees clearly imply a small increase in class size would have a negligible impact on the quality of education a student receives.  Most studies point to the fact that the quality of the teacher is the most important element in how well a child learns.  To take it one step further, Dr. Matthew Chingos, who obtained his PH.D. from Harvard University, states “Investing less in Class Size Reductions would free up resources that could be used to recruit and retain highly effective teachers”.  I think history has already deflated the claims of those advocating class size as the chief determining factor in the quality of education an individual receives considering the technological, scientific, and medical advances of my father’s and my generation, whose average class size was 25 or more students.  The same generation many of you are in.

Today, we have a group of citizens advocating the full funding of the school budget, which will eventually result in tax increases.  They want to raise taxes on the financially hard pressed citizens who are on fixed or limited incomes.  Some of these citizens cannot even afford to provide their own child a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich for their school lunch.  I cannot see the benefit in raising taxes to save 100 teachers jobs, while 1/3 of our community is struggling just to buy food, medicines, utilities, and afford housing.

During difficult economic times, government like citizens and businesses, must tighten their belts and reduce spending.  To do otherwise, would be unwise, reckless, and fiscally irresponsible.  I am in full support of the budget currently proposed by the Commissioners because it best protects the interest of all citizens.

Requesting Your Attendance

TEA Party = Taxed Enough Already Party

Three important events that may impact your NC tax liability in the future:

June 6, 2011 – Carteret County Board of Commissioners Meeting in Beaufort at 6 PM, Schedule. The Board will be finalizing the county’s 2012 budget. There is a well organized effort to convince the board to increase spending in education without providing any evidence that the increase will actually benefit the education of students. The proposed increase will result in increased local taxes (e.g., property, sales, etc) if passed as proposed by this well-organized group.
June 7, 2011 – Carteret County Board of Education Meeting in Beaufort at 6 PM, Schedule. The agenda will undoubtedly involve the Carteret County School budget, and will be attended en mass by organizers of groups supporting higher spending in education. A few members of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots plan to attend and at least one will speak against increased spending without supporting evidence that the spending will actually improve student education.
June, July, sometime 2011 – The NC Legislature will send a 2012 budget bill to Governor Perdue. Although, there seem to be some compromises in the works, the legislature and Governor Perdue are still far apart, especially on funding education. Governor Perdue’s approach is to push traditional state-funded cost to the counties so she can pretend to be saving money while forcing the counties to raise taxes to fund items that heretofore have been by state taxes. This slight-of-hand by Governor Perdue has the same impact on NC citizens, which is increased taxes that you pay either as state income tax increases, or local tax increases (e.g., property, sales, etc).

The other side is organized. Your voice must be added to the chorus of Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots who want Fiscal Responsibility from our elected officials. Please attend Board of Commissioners Meeting on June 6th. Arrive early to get a seat in the main meeting room. The other side will be there in force. Don’t let them over-shadow your voice.

Also, consider attending the Board of Education meeting on June 7th. Support the CCTPP members speaking out for fiscal responsibility.

Finally, let your Carteret County legislatures know you support their efforts to control state spending. While they are making every effort to hold the line on spending, they are being bombarded by those who believe solving problems means spending more taxpayer dollars. Let them know you don’t believe that money unwisely spent will solve anything.

Teacher pay does not equal formal education

Letter to the Editor, Carteret News Times

Teacher pay does not equal formal education


Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 3:03 PM EDT

Morehead City, N.C.

May 16, 2011


I put this right up front: I am not opposed to teachers and education administrators getting paid all they can through responsible negotiation with the taxpayers’ representatives. All I ask is for our representatives to fulfill their obligation to faithfully represent the majority of the taxpayers’ desires. Maybe even take that a step further, and through careful analysis project the general taxpayers’ ability to pay the education tab without impoverishing themselves in the process.

What brought this to mind are recent articles and letters to the editor published in the Carteret County News Times, some insisting that the county commissioners pay for whatever the school board and administration wants because our children’s education depends on it?

This argument seems to confuse and emotionalize the issue because in practical terms “teacher pay” and “formal education” are two distinct issues. To get to this distinction, we must ask what formal education is all about.

Formal education, in any useful sense, is the more or less organized presentation — to a “receptive mind” — of useful information that is factually true, morally sound and relevant to the current age and future needs of the one being educated.

The “receptive mind” is formed in two ways. In the case of young people still at home, it is both parents’ responsibility to instill in the child’s character useful self-discipline, along with an eagerness and desire for education. Lacking two parents, the single parent must also accomplish this parenting responsibility.

We can see in the inner cities that street kids — those without involved parents — are lost to formal education, in large part forever. For example, like many cities that get vast amounts of federal and state taxpayer dollars to “improve” education, Detroit, with a population of 951,000, must contend with 47% of its population, or 447,000 citizens, who are functionally illiterate. There are about the same percentage of illiterates in all of America’s large cities and places like Washington, D.C. Being functionally illiterate means not being able to fill out a job application or read the instructions on a pill bottle — and things like that.

The key point one can glean from such information is that across America formal, government education is not working for many of our citizens. However, there are alternatives to government schools that achieve better results. We find this to be true because the source of the information offered in formal education can come to the “receptive mind” in a number of ways: home school, private schools, Christian schools, some charter schools, some government schools, Sunday school, and even organized self-study by young people with initiative. As I recall, Abe Lincoln did some of the latter by candlelight and became president.

A teacher, then, is any person who satisfies a “receptive mind’s” need for factually true, morally sound and relevant information that will become useful in their future endeavors. A teacher who is truly called and inspired will also insist on teaching their students how to think, not just what to think.

The teacher that insists on politically correct thought from their students or approves of trendy immorality is not really a teacher but a state sponsored propagandist or an irresponsible parent. If the teacher has a classroom of students without “receptive minds,” the function they are performing is not “education.” It is called “daycare,” which seems to be enough for a high percentage of students and their parents.

How does all of that lead up to the issue of teacher pay? Well, the successful home school teacher doesn’t get paid, yet their students perform very well on standardized tests and in life. Private school teachers, such as in Christian schools, are paid but a pittance — with few if any benefits — compared to the current levels of government school teachers; however, it is an easy thing to make a case that their students excel in national testing and in life. Sunday school teachers don’t get paid and the students who learn for the love of it don’t get paid — yet become some of the most accomplished individuals we know.

So when we talk about teacher pay, we are not talking about education. In fact, if we could listen in on a government school’s faculty lounge we might hear them say, “Why don’t they let us teach the way we know is best? Why do they change the requirements every year? Why must we do all of these reports? Why am I responding to requirements dreamed up by a person who has never been in a classroom for more than a year or two, and then it was phys-ed? Why can’t I use textbooks that tell the whole story? Will they really fire me if I teach that, even if it is the truth? Why do I have to put so much of my own money into the classroom? Is the ACLU really more important than the students?”

Please don’t get me wrong. I believe teachers should argue for and get all they can from the taxpayers in the way of higher pay. After all, the upper management of the school system is among the financial elite of Carteret County — and there is nothing wrong with that either. If I were in their shoes, I would want all I could get from taxpayers too.

But the truth is — it is not the county commissioners or the Board of Education’s money that is being spent. Whose money is it? It is the hard earned money of the average Carteret County taxpayer that pays the tab. This confusion is seen when the local citizens’ teacher support groups exhort the county commissioners to give in to teacher demands and request that the county commissioners pay for them. (The fact that half of the folks don’t even pay taxes and live by the sweat of someone else’ brow is too big a subject to start in this letter!)

If the system worked as designed, the people on the state and county payrolls would regularly ask for more pay, more positions or more largesse of whatever nature and in times like these, the county commissioners would just say “no.” Ask yourself this question: in a year or two, do you think the state and county coffers will be more overflowing with taxpayer money than they are today?

No, all this discussion about teacher pay and positions is not about education. It is about the other important factor responsible people must deal with, i.e., — money.

But first, give us back schools that do not require policemen in the halls. Let the classroom teacher — well — teach. Then, give the teachers textbooks that extol the Creator who gave to us our unalienable rights and let them teach the stories of the men and women who, by giving Him credit for forming our nation, inspired generations of school kids to greatness.

That done, soon, the money will not be a problem.


Teach the Constitution – Action Plan

An Action Plan to Ensure Our Public Schools Teach the Constitution during Constitution Week, Sept. 18-24, 2011

Patriots across the country are justifiably concerned that students in the public schools are not being taught about the founding documents which created our nation. In 2004, Congress passed a law which requires an educational program on the Constitution be taught in all public schools during Constitution Week.

In 2010, a Patriot in Florida brought the requirement to the attention of his local school district and asked what program would be offered. He was stunned to learn the school district was unaware of the law and no plans had been made to comply with it.

He suggested Tea Party Patriots mount a national campaign for 2011 Constitution Week to pressure our public schools to comply with the law. The response from local coordinators was uniformly positive: We must pressure the public schools to teach the Constitution!

Patriots should not have to remind schools to teach the history of the most important document in our country. That we have to do so is an indication of how awful the public school system has become with regard to teaching U.S. history.

We have designed a simple plan to achieve this goal. It will be most effective if we can launch a national campaign in all 50 states.

How it Works: We ask that you send a series of 3 letters to the superintendent of schools, school board and local media in your community.  Letters can be mailed, emailed, or faxed.

May 2011 – Send Letter #1: This letter asks the superintendent and school board if they have plans to teach the Constitution as required by law. It lets the district know we are aware of the law and we expect it to be followed. It also suggests a curriculum the schools can purchase from the National Center for Constitutional Studies which can be used to meet the requirements. The NCCS program also meets standards for historical accuracy.

Watch the Series
The Making of America
from NCCS

Download the
Companion Guide

(pdf file)

Download Letter #1 as a Word document and fill in the blanks with the name of your district, superintendent, etc.

August 2011 – Send Letter #2:  This letter is a follow-up to the May message. It is similar to the first letter, but it asks the superintendent to let you know what specific plans the district has in place.

Download Letter #2 as a Word document and fill in the blanks with the name of your district, superintendent, etc.

First week of September – Letter #3 to local media: This letter should be sent to the media in your community.  It informs them of the law and describes our efforts to be sure it is observed appropriately during Constitution Week. It asks the media to contact the schools to see what plans they have in place, and if not, why not?

Download Letter #3 as a Word document and fill in the blanks with the name of your district, superintendent, etc.

These letters can be personalized for use in your community.  We need to contact as many school districts as possible to let them know we are serious about educating our children in the principles of the Founders. We expect districts to observe the law.

If you find resistance from your district superintendent or administrators toward implementing the program, please let your Tea Party group know, and then contact the media in your community.

If some schools in your district refuse to comply with law, then consider doing what Tea Partiers do best: Protest! Organize a rally at the school, with a clear message: We demand that students be taught the meaning and significance of the fundamental documents that created our incomparable nation.


via Tea Party Patriots

Why Focus Solely on the Education Budget?

Many people are genuinely concerned about the trends of increasing education budgets in NC, and the continuing decline of student performance. On February 21, 2011 a group of concerned citizens in coordination with the Carteret County Board of Education spoke out at a County Commissioner’s meeting in support of fully funding the education budget that had not been finalized at that time. Those speaking out for more funding were mainly from upper income families, and not representative of a majority of Carteret County citizens, especially those living on fixed incomes and facing increasing fuel prices, food prices, medical costs, property taxes, and the like. Maybe these well-off families can afford to pay more for education, and maybe they should. But many on a fixed income have already paid their dues.


I’m not suggesting that everyone who wants to see more funding provided to education fall into this elite group of speakers. On the contrary, some people I’ve talked to have purported to be conservatives who want to see fiscal responsibility in government, but claim to be willing to spend more on education for the children. Well, let me ask these so-called conservatives who want to see more education spending to save the children, where is your proof that increased spending will result in better education? More spending does not ensure a better product. There are many more factors to consider first.


“Let me be clear,” I agree with those who say there are great teachers in our school system, and that many work long hours, and some spend their own money for classroom materials. That aside however, it is clear that what has happened to education over the last 50 years has not contributed to better education. In the last 50 years, education funding has gone up dramatically; Curriculum has changed significantly (there are more choices and more fluff); Curriculum has become more centralized in Raleigh and in Washington; Class size has decreased; Teachers now make more money (above inflation) albeit not as much as they want; teachers now have aides; Most teachers take less work home now; Many teachers work fewer hours after school on such things as parent-teacher conferences, PTA, grading papers, etc; There are more school administrators; School administrators are paid more (above inflation); It’s more difficult to remove poor teachers; There are more “teacher meeting” days during the school year; There are more holidays; School buildings are bigger and better equipped; Schools have more computers and gadgets; the list goes on … With all these changes, why is it that the results are worse than 50 years ago? Why is it that universities are now forced to offer remedial courses to students who took advanced college preparatory courses in high school? Why is the drop-out rate so high? Why …


Recently, I attended a meeting organized by the Carteret County Concerned Citizen’s for Education (C4). There was outstanding attendance at the meeting, there were great speakers, and there was interesting dialog. However, it was clear during the proceedings and in off-line discussions that the focus of C4 is on “getting more money for education.” I was told that the members of C4 have decided “it is not their place to get involved with issues, such as those mentioned above, as those issues are the responsibility of the Board of Education and the Superintendent.” Consequently, all that is left for C4 to focus on is the school budget. I disagree with C4’s approach of focusing on the budget to the exclusion of other issues. I submit that the Board of Education and the Superintendent are part of the problem. I suggest that one cannot effectively determine the appropriate level of funding for the school system without addressing the other issues. If the curriculum is full of fluff, doesn’t that impact the budget? If there are a few substandard teachers and consequently their students may have to undergo remedial instruction, doesn’t that impact the budget? The bottom line is if C4 members, parents and taxpayers really want to improve education, then they need to consider the entire school system, not just the level of funding. They need to be asking “why is it that we keep spending more money each year, but the results seems to be going in the opposite direction?”

Letter to the Editor, Kudos to Board of Education (Maybe)

Following the publication of my March 8, 2011, Letter to the Editor in the Carteret News Times titled “Where is our Education Money Going?” I began to write a follow-up letter to the editor titled “Kudos to the Carteret County Board of Education, and Superintendent Novey.” I wanted to congratulate the BOE and Mr. Novey because of their quick response and achievement in raising the Carteret County School’s transparency grade from a “D” to an “A” on the NCTransparency web site. However, before I finished the letter, Mr. Novey launched a personal attack in the News Times on March 16, 2011 in which he made false accusations concerning statements contained in my original letter.


Mr. Novey said that I made “misguided statements.” I disagree. I had a goal, I presented FACTS (most provided by the school board at the Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting in February 2011), I expressed my opinion of the FACTS, and I achieved my objectives, which were (1) to call attention to the lack of school board transparency on a particular web site, and to get that grade improved, and (2) to put school officials on notice that the goal stated at the BOC meeting of “spending the money” is not an acceptable way to manage taxpayer money. I accomplished my goals, along with a bonus showing how some public officials react when defending their failures by using personal attacks and disinformation.


Mr. Novey launched his personal attack by incorrectly stating that I “falsely accused the school system of not making data available.” Mr. Novey either didn’t pay close attention when he read my letter, or he made a “misstatement” like some public officials are prone to do now days. FACT: Quoting from my editorial “But if anyone needs even more data to persuade anyone but a liberal that more spending is not better, THERE ARE PLENTY OF DATA AVAILABLE TO ANALYZE, ALTHOUGH THE CARTERET COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION DOESN’T MAKE IT EASY TO FIND.” Another quote, “the data is there. You just have to pry it out of them.” So Mr. Novey, please tell me where I “falsely” accused the school system of not making data available? Please tell me how making the data hard to obtain is in any way equivalent to “not making data available.” Sir, it is your statement that is “misguided.”


Mr. Novey then proceeded to mis-characterized the basis for my conclusion that “the data were hard to find” by saying that I based my statements on an “out dated web site.” Mr. Novey is wrong again. FACT: I made my determination that the data was available but hard to find by trying to find the information on the BOE web site. I then determined that the school system had a grade of “D” on the NC Transparency web site by looking at the web site, and observing that the data were not there.


After understanding that Mr. Novey made misstatements and mis-characterizations about my editorial thus far, one might wonder if Mr. Novey’s response might contain more “misstatements.” The answer is yes.


Contrary to what Mr. Novey said, the BOE was, in FACT, contacted by another Carteret County taxpayer some 6 to 8 weeks prior to my editorial. That person reported the grade of “D” on the NC Transparency web site, and asked if the BOE could check it out. However, absolutely nothing was done by Mr. Novey in response to that telephone inquiry. Maybe he didn’t know of the inquiry, or maybe he just did nothing; I don’t know. What I do know is that Mr. Novey misrepresented the facts in his response. What else did Mr. Novey get wrong.


Mr. Novey said that I had never contacted the BOE requesting information [on salaries of school’s administrative staff]. But it is Mr. Novey who continues to bend the truth and who doesn’t check the facts. Following the BOC’s meeting on February 21st, I asked one of the Commissioners if the BOC had administrative salary information for the school system. He said he did not, but would get it for me. It took about two weeks for me to receive the information. If that information were as readily available on the BOE web site as claimed by Mr. Novey, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that the link to the information on the BOE web site would be something less than two weeks, or even five days? The FACT is, that document was not on the BOE web site when it was requested. The BOE told me that Mr. Novey received the request from the acting County Manager and asked that the list be compiled. Then Mr. Novey wanted to review the table before it was sent to the County Manager. Both actions reasonable unless the document was already available on the web site as he implied, in which case Mr. Novey should have already approved the list prior to posting.


Mr. Novey stated that the BOE’s web site is “functional not fancy” and “is loaded with information.” Well he is right about everything but the “functional” part. Don’t take my word for it, go to the BOE site and judge for yourself. How easy it is to find any of the documents they have since posted on NC Transparency? If you visit NC Transparency, you will now find 14 documents that you can access with a single click. These documents include budget, proposed budget, contracts, test scores, employee salaries and the like. If you have the time to wade through the documents on the BOE site, see if you can find any of those documents or the document detailing the salaries of the school’s administrative staff. Some, or all may be there, but note how long it takes you to find them. I am not asking the BOE to change its web site, just to make information more easily accessible. After all, they provided much of the information to NC Transparency in less than four days. What is still missing on NC Transparency? Checkbook, Capital Improvement Plan, School Spending and Needs, NAEP Scores, EVAAS (Individual Teacher Performance). See if you can find these documents on the BOE web site. Some you might, but some I haven’t been able to find. Look, it’s not whether or not the information is available, it’s how many hoops you, the taxpayer, have to jump through to get the information. It’s whether you have to wade through tons of documents on the BOE web site, or call the BOE and have to wait two weeks (or five days) to get what you asked for, or whether you’re a member of a “special” group that has easy access to the Superintendent because you support him and the BOE.


Mr. Novey also was critical of what he called “negative comments” I made about the Chair of the BOE. However, the “negative comments” were direct quotes that Ms Neagle made at the BOC meeting in February. I expressed my concern about her statement hat the BOE’s “goal was to spend the money.” I, quite frankly, am concerned when any public employee makes a statement at a public meeting that their “goal is to spend the money.” Now, perhaps Ms. Neagle “misspoke,” but for Mr. Novey to tell me I don’t have the right to be concerned about a pronouncement like that, misspoken or not, is out of line even for a public employee who makes $142,400/year plus benefits.


Mr. Novey then made “misguided statements” of his own when he said that “Mrs Neagle wants to spend the money in a way the taxpayer’s overwhelmingly authorized in Nov. 2005.” FACT, that is not what she said at the BOC meeting. But what is more disturbing than her proclamation “to spend the money” is Mr. Novey’s rewriting of history claiming that “the taxpayer’s overwhelmingly authorized” the project. FACT: According to a BOE spokesman at the BOC meeting, the voters actually voted for a plan to build new buildings at Eastern Carteret High School, and to demolish the old buildings located in the flood plain. The current work being done is to refurbish the old buildings instead of demolishing them, not what the voters approved in 2005. I said in my letter to the editor that I made no judgment on the change in plans, but that I questioned the mind-set of anyone stating that the “goal was to spend the money.” I standby that comment, and Mr. Novey’s spinning the truth does not change my mind. I echo Mr. Novey’s statement, “I simply request that before public statements are made that facts be verified.” That standard should apply to Mr. Novey as well as anyone else.

Carteret County Concerned Citizens for Education

The liberal faction of Carteret County citizens keeps pushing for more spending in education. There is absolutely no data to support more spending equals better education. In fact, there is more data that shows the opposite is true. Smarter application of resources and better curriculum strategies would equal better application of taxpayer’s dollars. Go to the C4 Facebook page to see what the opposition is up to. It’s amazing how easily they spend your money!

“We Are at War” – NEA’s Plan of Attack

via Hot Air


posted at 1:26 pm on March 23, 2011 by Mike Antonucci

With the situation in Wisconsin stabilized, if not settled, there is time to examine the National Education Association’s strategy for its short-term future. Though reasonable arguments can be made that the collective bargaining measures in Wisconsin, Ohio and Idaho aren’t significantly different from the status quo in other states, there should be no mistake about it – NEA sees them as a threat to its very existence.

The reasons are not hard to understand. NEA has enjoyed substantial membership and revenue growth during the decades-long decline of the labor movement. It is now the largest union in America and by far the largest single political campaign spender in the 50 states.

But after some 27 years of increases, NEA membership is down in 43 states. The union faces a $14 million budget shortfall, and the demand for funds from its Ballot Measure/Legislative Crises Fund is certain to exceed its supply. Even the national UniServ grants, which help pay for NEA state affiliate employees, will be reduced this year.

In the past, NEA has routinely faced challenges to its political agenda, mostly in the form of vouchers, charters and tax limitations. But the state legislative and gubernatorial results in the 2010 mid-term elections emboldened Republicans for the first time to systematically target the sources of NEA’s power, which have little to do with education and everything to do with the provisions of each state’s public sector collective bargaining laws.

Hence the Manichaean battle in Madison. There has been a virtually non-stop expansion of the scope of public sector collective bargaining over the past 35 years. If the tide turns, it may take a lot longer than 35 years to get those privileges back.

“We are at war,” incoming NEA executive director John Stocks told the union’s board of directors last month, outlining a plan to keep NEA from joining the private sector industrial unions in a slow, steady decline into irrelevancy to anyone outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. And like any good war plan for an army under siege, it allows for a defense-in-depth while preparing for a decisive counterattack.

The first line of defense is to stop anti-union legislation at its point of origin. The Wisconsin Education Association Council tried to head off Gov. Walker’s bill with its “bold reforms” campaign. After the bill was introduced, there were massive rallies, sit-ins, and Democratic senators fleeing the state, along with various other parliamentary maneuvers.

The second line of defense is judicial. In Wisconsin, the public sector unions have already stalled the implementation of the collective bargaining bill through court order. But that isn’t the only place. NEA successfully blocked a new law preventing its Alabama affiliate from collecting dues through payroll deduction. Even if these court battles fail, the time consumed will enable NEA to prepare its third line of defense, which is electoral.

Recalls are not out of the question, but it’s more likely that NEA and other public sector unions will seek to ride an increase in activism and a perception of GOP overreach into large victories in 2012. Whatever hostile laws slip through the first two lines will be eliminated by new majorities of union-friendly Democrats.

While arguably weaker than in years past, NEA is still a political powerhouse, and will not be content with lying against the ropes, being pummeled by Republicans. Union officers are smart enough to recognize that the best use of its resources is in the states, rather than in Congress and the White House. Rommel once observed that “the battle is fought and decided by the quartermasters before the shooting begins.” NEA will see to it that its state affiliates are supplied with all the ammunition they need.

Despite its budget shortfall and freeze on executive pay, the national union is flush with cash, and aims to double the size of its political war chest. The bulk of this money will go to the state affiliates, though the national union will have a larger hand in how it is disbursed.

We can expect the state affiliates to spend most of it opposing unfriendly bills and initiatives, but with more money available, there will still be plenty left to fund measures like the proposed capital gains and income tax hikes in Massachusetts.

The need to modify the budget to accommodate reduced revenue actually works in NEA’s favor in a crisis. Just as with government budgets, reductions in NEA budgets tend to cause squawking from the recipients of those funds. In today’s atmosphere, the union will be able to reallocate money to its foremost priorities with little pushback from internal constituencies.

NEA’s growth in membership and political influence over the years has been accompanied more recently by increasingly bad press. In response, the union will be “building a new external narrative about NEA as dedicated to improvement of the profession, student success and social justice.”

Historically, NEA has been slow to embrace new technologies, but the new external narrative requires prominence on the Internet and social media. The NEA message will naturally appear in all its publications – electronic and otherwise – but with a need for rapid response there will be emphasis on the union’s Education Votes web page and its associated Facebook and Twitter outlets. We will also see a greater presence by NEA’s officers in the blogosphere.

Accompanying NEA’s PR strategy will be new research on pensions, tenure and teacher evaluations, collective bargaining and, of course, funding.

Finally, NEA recognizes that its success or failure relies on feelings of solidarity from AFT, private sector unions, and parents. It will downplay differences on side issues in order to gain support on its priorities.

Whether NEA can do all – or any – of these things is an open question. My own judgment is that the union is better as an immovable object than an irresistible force. It is much more likely to successfully stymie its opponents’ initiatives than it is to successfully prosecute its own course of action.

Ultimately, the Republican governors, lawmakers and activists have their work cut out for them. They will be met with defiance, roadblocks, stalling, foot-dragging and subterfuge for as long as these proposals work their way through the legislative process and long after they become law. In the end, NEA may help elect friendly politicians who will restore their lost powers and revenues.

But the same tactics that may gain such victories will negatively affect the union’s public image. Win or lose, NEA’s actions will “build an external narrative” that no PR strategy can alter. The outcome of NEA’s war is still very much in doubt, but that battle has already been decided.

Letter to the Editor: Where is Education Money Going?

On Monday, February 21, 2011 a group of people organized by the Carteret County Board of Education paraded their support for the Board of Education’s 2011 Budget before the Carteret County Board of Commissioners. The first thing that struck me during the public comments was a statement by, Cathy Neagle, the Chairman of the Board of Education. She said that the Board of Education’s budget would be finalized and ready for presentation to the County Board of Commissioners on or about March 15, 2011. So, I wondered just how did these people who were pleading before the County Commissioners for full funding of the Board of Education’s budget even know what was in the budget that at the time of the meeting was still unfinished, and just what was did they think was so vital in that unfinished budget to the education of the children of Carteret County? Or, perhaps, they were there just to make sure that the money from Carteret County taxpayer’s keeps flowing to the Carteret County Schools regardless of how the money is to be spent?


The parade of these concerned people pleading for full funding of an education budget that they hadn’t seen, or that they couldn’t have studied or critically evaluated is so typical of liberals who come to these meetings just to tell elected officials that it is critical for them to spend somebody else’s money so that the children can read, write, and add one plus one, or the sky will surely fall. They said “If you don’t spend more money, there won’t be enough doctors to take care of all the old people in Carteret County,” and “if you don’t spend more money the reputation of our school system will suffer and businesses will not locate in Carteret County,” and “if you cut spending on education, professionals won’t bring their families to live here because our schools will not be good enough.” Then there are the personal anecdotes they conjure up like “accidentally bumping into a group of hard working average citizens at the car-wash who out-of-the-blue start babbling about how “we just aren’t spending enough money on the schools in Carteret County and how they would be more than willing to pay higher taxes to save the children.” Several of these “school-budget cheerleaders” linked the level and quality of education directly to the level of spending, saying that “everyone wants their kids to be able to read and comprehend; we have to spend more to get better results.” One even compared Carteret County schools to foreign countries stating that “American education is now behind that of Estonia and Poland.” Well yeah, but we already outspend Estonia and Poland, and nearly every other nation on earth when it comes to education, and look what we’ve got to show for it! One might logically conclude from that lame comparison that throwing more money at the problem isn’t the solution. The only thing missing at this circus was the County clown who is constantly waxing so in-eloquently in our local paper; I almost missed him.


The arguments presented Monday evening by this group were simply fallacious. One only has to look at the Washington, DC voucher program to see that throwing money at education is not the answer. In the DC voucher program, student performance was better, while spending was about half that of the public schools in the surrounding area (that is, until President Obama ended the DC voucher program to the consternation of many DC residents). But closer to home, there is a private school in Carteret County where the per student cost is about half that of the Carteret County Public School’s cost per student, and the private school’s test scores are higher than those of the public school system’s. Why is that?


But if one needs even more data to persuade anyone but a liberal that more spending is not better, there are plenty of data available to analyze, although the Carteret County Board of Education doesn’t make it easy to find. The John Locke Foundation’s NC Transparency (http://www.nctransparency.com/) gives the Carteret County Public Schools a grade of “D” for transparency as to how our school tax dollars are being spent. The data is there, you just have to dig for it! It took me two weeks to get the salaries of the Carteret County School’s administrative staff through a County official. You can see it at this URL http://www.crystalcoastteaparty.com/carteret-county-school-administrative-salaries/ But the bottom line is, it is just plain hard to find out how the Carteret County School Board spends your tax dollars.


The second thing that struck me during the meeting was was another comment by Cathie Neagle concerning the funding of a capital expense project at East Carteret High School. This project was funded by a bond approved by the Carteret County voters in 2006 according to statements at the meeting. After approval by the voters, the project was managed very well and the cost of the project was significantly less than projected and approved by the voters. They certainly deserve praise for that. But the project then evolved to accommodate the left over money. Whether that is good or bad thing is not the point. The point is, that during the discussion, Ms. Neagle stated that “the objective of the Board of Education was to spend the money;” referring to the money left over following the excellent management of the capital project that had been approved by the voters. Now, it is this mind-set expressed by Ms Naegle that bothers me. As Milton Friedman, noted economist, said “There are four ways to spend money (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RDMdc5r5z8&feature=related); “one way is when you (the government) spends somebody else’s money (the taxpayer’s) on somebody else (the schools).” Friedman argues that in this case those spending the money don’t much care about how much they spend because it’s not their money, and that they don’t much care about what they get for the money either because it isn’t their money. Sort of sounds like “our objective was to spend the money?”


By the time this gets into the paper, the Carteret County Board of Education should have submitted their budget to the County Commissioners. Maybe, just maybe the people who were so supportive of the phantom budget last month will now know what is in it. Then, just maybe, they’ll have a clue as to what the Board plans to spend your money on. In the mean time, you might want to call or write the Carteret County School Board and the Carteret County Board of Commissioners and ask them why the County got a grade of “D” on the NC Transparency web site. Don’t let them tell you they don’t know about it, because several people have already called and asked them why. Tell the School Board and the Commissioners you’d like to see the County get a grade of “A.” Ask them to post all of their budget information on-line so the public can easily access it, and see where the money is going. After all, it’s your money they are spending.


by Kenneth Lang

March 11, 2011

Monday at the NC General Assembly

Via Washington Examiner



NC House Republicans set override vote on Perdue veto on health care overhaul challenge

Never before approved, 2007 land transfer tax given initial approval for repeal by NC House

House gives initial OK to end requirement for community colleges to join fed loan programs

House Democrats roll out alternative bill to GOP plan for charter school changes that ends cap

Education advocates tell NC legislative budget writers to avoid making deep budget cuts

Former Union County Sheriff McGuirt appointed to succeed Gibson in North Carolina House


VETO OVERRIDE: Republicans will attempt to cancel Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto rejecting a measure designed to challenge a key provision of the federal health care overhaul law for North Carolina. House GOP leaders set an override vote for Wednesday. Over the weekend, Perdue vetoed a bill that attempts to block a provision of the federal law requiring most people in 2014 to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Perdue said the bill would have violated the U.S. Constitution and referred to a memo from Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office arguing the measure could harm other health programs. House Republicans may need a few more Democratic votes to get the three-fifths majority needed to override. The Senate also would have to override to let the bill become law. Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory is lending his voice to automated phone calls on behalf of Americans for Prosperity urging voters to ask lawmakers to vote for the override.

GOP, counties unhappy with Perdue's N.C. budget

The Associated Press
© February 18, 2011

By Gary D. Robertson


Gov. Beverly Perdue unveiled a spending plan Thursday that would eliminate 10,000 employee positions next year and keep mostly in place a temporary sales tax to close a $2.4 billion gap, saying it would make North Carolina government more efficient and protect teacher jobs.

The $19.9 billion spending plan for the year starting July 1 tracks a previously announced plan to narrow 14 agencies and departments into eight, while cutting or eliminating 139 additional programs. If Perdue’s bill became law, school bus replacement would shift to local districts and all highway welcome centers and most state parks would be closed two days a week.

While her two-year budget proposal to the Legislature would pay for all teachers and teacher assistants currently funded by the state, other public employees wouldn’t be as protected. As many as 3,000 of the positions designated for elimination are currently filled, Perdue’s budget office said. There are currently about 266,000 state-funded positions.

“I don’t sleep well at night, worried about (workers), but at the end of the day, I do know, quite frankly as the governor, that this is the right decision as we move forward with a leaner state government,” Perdue said at a news conference.

GOP leaders newly in charge of the General Assembly and forming their own spending plan said there were positive steps in the incumbent Democrat’s proposal which spends less than the current budget year when $1.6 in federal stimulus funds are added. But they said it doesn’t cut far enough and breaks a promise by keeping intact through mid-2013 three-quarters of a penny of the one-cent sales tax set to expire June 30.

While the measure would lower the base tax most consumers currently pay from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent, and still generate $827 million next year, the change is still a tax increase, said Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, who had pledged with other Republicans to let the one-cent sales tax expire.

“The people of North Carolina in November sent a strong message, and that message was balance the budget and don’t raise taxes. The governor sent a message back to the people today: ‘I’m balancing the budget by raising your taxes,'” Berger said.

Perdue defended the sales tax, saying it helped her avoid eliminating funds for an additional combined 12,500 teachers and teacher assistants. Democrats in charge of the Legislature in 2009 and Perdue agreed to the penny sales-tax increase to help close shortfalls during the Great Recession.

“North Carolina, as we speak, has 5,000-plus K-12 students. Somebody has to pay for those students,” Perdue told reporters.

She also took heat from local government leaders who said her budget would reduce public education funding by $350 million, shifting more responsibility to the districts and the counties.

Funding for clerical and custodial positions would be reduced by 15 percent, or 1,700 positions, and for school bus transportation by 10 percent, or 1,900 positions. Local governments also would be required to replace their own school buses. County commissioners are worried the changes could lead to local property tax increases.

“We hear ‘we are not going to touch the classroom,'” said Joe White, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education member and president of the North Carolina School Boards Association. “Unfortunately, those of us who are in the (education) business know that when you cut so many people that support the classroom … you have literally had a great impact on the classroom.”

Perdue said it was time to reconsider the delineation of responsibilities between state and local governments on school funding. House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said he was concerned about putting that kind of burden on counties all at once.

The proposal didn’t contain an effort to revive the video poker industry through heavy regulation. Perdue earlier had sounded intrigued by the idea, which could have generated several hundred million dollars annually.

“I didn’t want the next six months, quite frankly when so much is at stake for North Carolina … to be distracted by this philosophical and moral debate over gambling and other video poker and the lottery,” she said.

The two-year budget would place cuts of 7 percent to 15 percent on most state programs compared to last year’s recurring funding levels, while the public schools and higher education would see 4 to 6 percent reductions.

State employees and teachers would get not pay raises for the third year in a row and give up to $20,000 early retirement bonuses. Some workers would be required to pay a monthly premium for their own health insurance for the first time.

“The governor has outlined a budget plan that will throw North Carolina into a race to the bottom,” said Dana Cope, executive of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, which offered ideas this week that would have protected jobs. “She could have implemented enough of them so that she’d prevent any North Carolinian from being in the unemployment line.”

As previously announced, Perdue said she wants the Legislature to reduce the corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent. She also wants to provide an unemployment tax credit for 135,000 small businesses, spend $75 million on improvements to university and government buildings and set aside $150 million for the state’s rainy-day reserve fund.

Highlights of Gov. Beverly Perdue’s $19.9 billion budget released Tuesday for the 2011-12 fiscal year. For tax changes, figures are for the amount of revenue generated or lost. For spending changes, figures are for amount spent or saved compared to what was projected to maintain current services.

Taxes, reserves or salaries
— extend 0.75 cents of the temporary penny sales tax for another two years: $827 million.
— reduce corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent: -$115 million.
— repeal law giving portion of corporate income tax for public school construction: $72 million.
— provide unemployment insurance tax credit for 135,000 small businesses: -$65 million.
— no salary increases for state employees, teachers.
— cover expected 7.1 percent premium increase for state employee health insurance plan: $117.1 million.
— require state employees on more generous health insurance plan to pay $21.50-per-month premium for individual coverage: -$89 million.
— provide $10,000-$20,000 incentive bonus for eligible workers to retire, allocated in limited amounts throughout state government.
— set aside $75 million from year-end credit balance for repairs, renovations of government buildings.
— contribute more to state retirement system: $115 million.
— severance reserve for laid-off state workers: $30 million.
— rainy-day reserve fund: $150 million.
— set aside $25 million from year-end credit balance to help local governments and nonprofits interested in consolidating or regionalizing services.

K-12 education
— require local school district to pay for workers’ compensation claims: -$34.7 million.
— make payments of tort claims a local responsibility: -$4.6 million.
— reduce allotment for local central office staff by 10 percent, potentially eliminating 140 positions: -$10.8 million.
— reduce instructional support allotment by 5 percent, potentially eliminating 290 positions: -$23 million.
— reduce school building administration funds by 7.5 percent, potentially eliminating 380 positions: -$24.6 million.
— 35 percent allotment reduction for textbooks: -$40 million.
— reduce allotment to districts for custodial and clerical positions by 15 percent, or 1,700 positions: -$59.6 million.
— reduce school bus transportation allotment by 10 percent, or potentially 1,900 positions: -$40.3 million.
— make school bus replacement a local responsibility: -$56.9 million.
— direct 10 percent reduction in Department of Public Instruction, or 40 positions: -$4.4 million.
— eliminate dropout prevention grants: -$13 million.
— pay for instruction supplies and positions to teach an extra 5,323 students in 2011-12 school year: $38.3 million.

University of North Carolina system
— direct University of North Carolina system to reduce combined spending in operating budget by 9.5 percent, with 1,900 positions to be eliminated, partially offset by tuition increases: -$252.6 million.
— reduce legislative aid to residents who attend private college by 6.5 percent: -$12.2 million.
— reduce 25 percent charity care subsidy to UNC Hospitals: -$11 million.
— operation and maintenance of new system building coming online next year, including 283 positions: $18.5 million.
— pay for instruction of additional 2,337 students in 2011-12 school year: $23.3 million.
— consolidate research stations and farms at N.C. State University: $8.7 million.
— use N.C. Education Lottery Funds to help pay for need-based financial aid: $34.9 million.

Community colleges
— eliminate eight specialized centers and programs: -$3.8 million.
— raise tuition by $5.50 per credit hour, or $176 per year: -$25.3 million.
— direct 3 percent reduction in state aid budget to community college system, with as many as 620 position eliminated: -$32.3 million.
— pay for instruction of additional 9,712 full-time equivalent students in 2011-12 school year: $17.9 million.

Health and Human Services
— find efficiencies in department budget to reduce 25 positions: -$1 million.
— reduce Smart Start early childhood initiative by 10 percent: -$9.4 million.
— create up to 5.5 percent assessment on hospital and other Medicaid providers as a way to draw down more federal funds: -$60.2 million.
— adjusting Medicaid provide reimbursement rates, for private duty nursing, imaging and ultrasounds: -$8.4 million.
— modify Medicaid pharmacy services to find efficiencies: -$15.9 million.
— modify optional and mandatory Medicaid services: -$16.5 million.
— set aside $75 million in year-end credit balance for mental health trust fund.
— reduce administrative funds to operate local mental health management offices: -$3.3 million.

Justice and Public Safety
— consolidate Departments of Juvenile Justice, Correction and Crime Control and Public Safety into one Department of Public Safety. Sixty positions would be eliminated.
— reduce administrative functions in judicial branch by 16 percent, or 54 positions: -$9.1 million.
— reduce funds for family and drug treatment courts, dispute resolution and other programs: -$1.9 million.
— reduce courthouse operations expenses by 1 percent, or 71 positions: -$3.3 million.
— shift requirement that sheriffs check whereabouts of registered sex offenders by first-class mail, not certified mail: -$93,000.
— close Woodson Wilderness Camp for juvenile offenders, eliminate 20 positions: -$970,000.
— close Swannanoa Youth Development Center, affecting 26 positions: -$1.4 million.
— eliminate 77 correction positions: -$2.9 million.
— find $12.4 million in savings, eliminate 237 positions from Justice Reinvestment recommendations.
— fund operations and staffing for four new prisons, including 280 positions: $10 million.

Natural and Economic Resources
— merge Employment Security Commission into Department of Commerce, resulting in 53 position eliminations.
— close welcome centers two days a week, privatize them in 2012-13 fiscal year: -$600,000
— One North Carolina Fund economic incentives initiative: $10 million.
— Job Maintenance and Capital Development Program: $8.5 million.
— direct reductions at Department of Agriculture at agency’s discretion: -$5.2 million.
— reduce Department of Environment and Natural Resources by 68 positions, largely in permitting offices: -$418,000.
— close Rendezvous and Turnbull Creek educational state forests due to low attendance: -$131,000.
— reduce Division of Parks and Recreation budget by 10 percent, requiring most parks to close two days a week: -$3.1 million.
— matching money for clean and drinking water revolving funds: $14.5 million.
— Clean Water Management Trust Fund: -$50 million.

— reduce public transportation, aviation and ferry funds: -$6.9 million.
— repair, replace and maintain ferry vessels: -$2.1 million.

Other state agencies
— consolidate Department of Administration, State Controller’s Office, Office of Information Technology Services and Office of State Personnel into a new Department of Administration and Management, reducing 21 positions and other human resources jobs.
— delay filling intern positions at the General Assembly: -$1.25 million.
— eliminate four positions from the Officer of the Governor: -$433,000.
— purchase land buffers for military installations: $1 million.
— reduce six positions in State Auditor’s Office: -$784,000.
— increase Department of Insurance company and insurance adjuster licensing fees: -$4.5 million.
— pay for new Department of Revenue tax computer system: $3 million.
— reduce grants for arts, libraries, NC Symphony by 10 percent: -$2.3 million.
— consolidate, reduce management layers at North Carolina State Library, eliminating nine positions: -$500,000.
— centralize human resources functions, cutting 92 positions: -$2.8 million.

Source: Office of State Budget and Management / The Associated Press