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News Education

Davis promotes public-private partnerships to keep remaining programs afloat

As the smoke has begun to clear from the state budget battle, educators around North Carolina are just now coming to grips with the full impact of the first Republican-controlled General Assembly in over one hundred years. The freshman legislators had promised to cut spending across the board to fill the state's projected shortfall of $2.5 billion – and they did.

Among the many casualties, education, which makes up nearly 60 percent of the state's budget, sustained some of the most painful cuts. In the end, K-12 education in the state saw close to 5.8 percent in total cuts, much of them in the form of massive reversions that will leave the burden of cutting jobs and programs to the local school systems.


Franklin High School graduation was held Friday, June 17, at the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University. Vinnie Agrusa performed the processional as well as the recessional and the B-Naturals and Chamber Singers provided musical interludes.Valedictorian Jennifer Richter delivered the senior address and Salutatorian Erich Baker gave the inspirational remarks. Franklin businessman Phil Drake was the guest speaker.

Conferring diplomas was Principal Chris Baldwin assisted by Pam Cabe and William Horniak, assistant principals. Superintendent Dan Brigman offered closing remarks.


Bev Perdue became the first governor to ever veto a budget bill when she rejected the Republicans’ proposal this month. Perdue argued that the hardest thing to accept about the bill is the steep cuts to education.

“We are trying to do more with less,” Perdue said in a press conference. “The problem arises from the Republicans refusing to extend the temporary tax. By doing so, they are cutting out a large portion of funds, which means cutting back on everything else as well to compensate for the loss.”

With the temporary tax in place, Rep. Phil Haire (D-Jackson) explained that there is $11 million of state money going back into circulation. This is what the Republicans wish to do away with. The tax ends with the fiscal year at the end of June, Haire said, speaking before the General Assembly voted to override Perdue’s veto on June 15. Republicans said they would never extend the temporary tax because they ran their campaign on a “no new tax platform.” However, doing so unbalances Perdue’s budget, causing even more problems, said Haire.


A tourism and business lobby group and a Highlands parent have filed a petition with the State Office of Administrative Hearings challenging the legality of the recently approved alternative calendar for Macon County Schools which sets the start date for the 2011-2012 school year on Aug. 4, three weeks earlier than last year.

Sabrina Hawkins, a mother of three Highlands School students, is seeking an injunction against the State Board of Education to withdraw its approval of a calendar waiver which will allow the school district to begin classes three weeks before Aug. 25, the statewide mandated start date. Hawkins and her co-petitioner in the case, an organization called Save Our Summers – N.C. based in Wake County, claim that in granting Macon County's waiver request for the alternative calendar, the SBE “failed to comply with its statutory obligations, failed to follow proper procedure, and blatantly ignored the merits of the requests.”


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