RSVP for the free Neighbors on Call Election Skills Fair on Sept 15, 2-4pm, Seymour Center, Chapel Hill. Meet NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls (we wrote postcards to help elect her in 2018!) and NC State Senator Jeff Jackson, plus a bunch of other progressive NC legislators and candidates. Learn about the 2020 voter photo ID requirements and how YOU can best help get out the vote for NC's progressive candidates in 2020 - in addition to writing postcards with Stamp NC Blue.

Have some free time and want to help with last-minute phone- or text-banking for the NC CD 3 & 9 races? Phone bank from home for Dan McCready. Register to text for Allen Thomas here. Contact andrea@peopledemandingaction.org to phone bank from home for Thomas or chip in for billboards in Craven County.

This week Education Week released the  2019 Quality Counts report, ranking North Carolina 37th out of 50 states and D.C. for the national report card on education. NC received a 72 out of 100, a C-. This score is largely due to low per pupil spending. The ranking was as high as 19th in 2011.

As reported in the News and Observer,

Mark Jewell, president of the N.C. Association of Educators, said the state’s low ranking nationally reflects a lack of GOP support for public education.
“There’s been an attack on public education in North Carolina,” Jewell said. “When you adjust for inflation, public school funding is still well below pre-recession levels. They’ve basically put us in a permanent recession level while they continue to give tax cuts to corporations and millionaires. . . . ”
North Carolina ranked 48th in the nation in school spending in the report. After making regional adjustments, Lloyd said North Carolina spent $9,367 per student compared to a national average of $12,756.

The most interesting thing is that NC has a budget "surplus", and last month lawmakers offer[ed] to refund [the]$900M budget surplus to NC taxpayers.

So why do we have a budget surplus when NC education and other programs are lacking? A Wral Editorial said

Some of our legislators told the New York Times, that “we simply don’t have the money” to meet many of those obligations.
The same leaders who admit we are not adequately funding our public schools or Pre-K; aren’t providing health care to all those whom we should; and neglecting upkeep of public facilities – buildings, schoolhouses, roads and bridges.

Read more from the Editorial to see suggested uses of the surplus. When programs are in need, we should not be offering a refund.

Here are some additional facts from the Editorial:

$17,680 a day – That’s the per diem ($104 to every member of the General Assembly) we spend while Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore procrastinate to block a vote sustaining Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget.
34 cents a day – That’s what each taxpayer gets (if extended over a year) under the $640 million scheme Berger and Moore announced to send 5.1 million taxpayers checks for $125.
$5.6 million -- That’s the ADDED COST Berger and Moore didn’t mention to do all this. It takes $2.8 million to process the checks and another $2.8 million for first-class postage.

Tags: (Education, NC Budget, NCGA, NCPol)

Disclaimer: Stamp NC Blue is a subsidiary of SNCB PAC. SNCB PAC is not authorized by, financed by, or affiliated with any candidate or campaign. Questions? Contact info@stampncblue.org.

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