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NC Troopers Association Endorses Rep. Jordan

nc troopers association

NC TROOPERS ASSOCIATION RELEASES ENDORSEMENTS FOR NOVEMER ELECTIONS

Summerfield, North Carolina – The North Carolina Troopers Association announces its official endorsement of legislative candidates in the upcoming November general election.

The NC Troopers Association endorses candidates that have proven themselves to be avid proponents of law enforcement and the North Carolina Troopers. In 2018, legislative members had the option to support an average raise of 8% for North Carolina troopers in Senate Bill 99. Their endorsements are a result of the candidate’s leadership, persistence, and voting record to begin the process to advance the salaries of North Carolina troopers.

“On behalf of the North Carolina Troopers Association, we are proud to endorse candidates who have a proven track record of supporting law enforcement and their families,” said Danny Jenkins, President of the North Carolina Troopers Association. “For decades, trooper’s salaries have been stagnant while they sacrifice to serve and protect. The men and women in uniform consistently put their lives on the line to protect North Carolinians. We are grateful for the legislative members who fought, voted and successfully began the process to provide troopers with an equitable salary that they so much deserve.”

“We are confident these candidates are the best choices to continue the Associations efforts to protect and provide for those who serve. Our troopers, along with all law enforcement professionals in the state, deserve the same level of support and dedication from their elected officials, as they give. Because these individuals have shown they have the backs of those who protect our citizens, we proudly support their candidacy.”

Treasurer Folwell Applauds Rep. Jonathan Jordan’s Efforts to Recover Additional Public Pension Benefits Paid to Convicted Felons

(Raleigh, N.C.) – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced today that the N.C. Department of State Treasurer (DST) intends to pursue recovery of employer pension contributions from public officials who are convicted of job-related felonies.

Under North Carolina’s felony forfeiture law, the department can reduce or terminate payments from the state pension plan to employees who committed crimes while serving in public office. However, the law does not allow DST to recover contributions made by government employers, sometimes referred to as a “match”, towards benefits such as 401(k) accounts. Treasurer Folwell said the department will pursue legislation to change that.

“We have learned that local taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill for employer contributions made by local governments,” said Folwell. “Public officials who commit crimes related to their public service should not get to enjoy taxpayer-funded benefits that we can’t recover after they are convicted.”

Folwell added that DST would work with the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, and the chairs of the House and Senate Pensions & Retirement committees, including Rep. Allen McNeill, Rep. Stephen Ross and Senator Andy Wells to expand the felony forfeiture law.

“Representative Jordan has been a leader in holding public officials accountable for crimes connected to their official duties,” said Folwell. “I look forward to working together in the legislature to make sure people who violate the public’s trust don’t get rewarded for their actions.”

The North Carolina Retirement Systems provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 900,000 members, including teachers, firefighters, police officers, state and local government employees and other public workers. For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com

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NFIB Endorses Rep. Jordan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Todd Pack (NFIB0, 615-872-5897

Small Business Endorses Jonathan Jordan in District 93 Race

RALEIGH, September 27, 2018-The NFIB North Carolina PAC has endorsed Jonathan Jordan in the 93rd District House race. The political action committee is comprised exclusively of NFIB members.

“Jonathan Jordan is the clear choice for small business,” NFIB State Director Gregg Thompson said.

“Small business is the engine that drives North Carolina’s economy,” Thompson said. “Jonathan Jordan understands the challenges facing small businesses and will do everything possible to help them grow and create jobs.”

The NFIB North Carolina PAC’s endorsement is critical to the Jordan campaign. Small-business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for actively recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to go to the polls. The PAC’s support is based on the candidates’ positions and records on small business issues.

NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business association. To learn more about NFIB in North Carolina, visit NFIB.com/NC and follow @NFIB_NC on Twitter.

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N.C. has nearly doubled early voting hours under GOP

N.C. has nearly doubled early voting hours under GOP

New data from the State Board of Elections (and conveniently distributed by Gerry Cohen) shows that overall early voting hours have nearly doubled since 2010, the last election before Republicans took their majority.

Even compared with 2016 and 2012 — presidential election years that usually have more early voting hours — the 2018 plan goes far above and beyond.

Opponents claimed that the new law would force mass numbers of site closures and dramatically limited weekend voting hours. That clearly didn’t happen.

– Read the Full Article

Education – Beyond the Funding

Education – Beyond the Funding

July 26, 2018

The educational assessment used in this country to be able to compare states to each other is called the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) – commonly referred to as the nation’s report card. It covers reading and math for eighth-grade and fourth-grade students across the nation. The test is widely regarded as a credible gauge of student performance in specific grades. The latest available data comes from the 2017 version of NAEP.

Changes from last test: North Carolina’s results show very little, if any progress, from the last test. Eighth-grade reading and math scores were up 1 and 2 points respectively – essentially no change from the 2015 scores. More concerning were fourth-grade test results, which declined by 2 points in reading and 3 points in math.

NC Scores vs. National Scores: The fourth-grade reading scores, while down year over year, remained three points higher than the national average (221) while 16 states had better fourth-grade reading scores than North Carolina. Regarding fourth-grade math, North Carolina students scored 241, down three points from the previous year, but not statistically different from the national average score of 239. Again, 15 states had higher fourth-grade math scores than North Carolina.

Results: The decline in fourth-grade reading scores is alarming. Only 39 percent of fourth-graders and 33 percent of eighth-graders were rated “proficient” on NAEP reading exams. Students performing at or above the “proficient” level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter. It should be noted that the NAEP “proficient” achievement level does not represent grade level proficiency as determined by other assessment standards such as state or district assessments. North Carolina’s latest scores are slightly above the national average. Unfortunately, because scores are directly comparable within a state year-by-year, North Carolina’s lower scores since the 2015 NAEP exam, demonstrate our actual progress level to be down.

For the past 15 years, trend lines for math and reading scores have seen no significant improvements at the state or federal level. They have been essentially flat. Over the past 15 years North Carolina state government has provided the public schools more than $108 billion in funding and included a raft of initiatives to boost student achievement and help those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Despite the influx of dollars, there has been very little variation in NAEP scores. Moreover, achievement gaps remain as intractable as ever.

Let’s move past the simplistic argument about how much money we spend on education – because it’s more complicated than that – and get to the real issue: Are our students performing at higher levels of achievement or not?

Source: See https://www.nccivitas.org/2018/naep-scores-beyond-government-spin/

North Carolina Education Budget Highlights 2017

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina’s 2017-2019 education budget includes a net increase of more than $818 million dollars and a fourth consecutive teacher salary increase by the state General Assembly.

2017-2018 2018-2019 

Education Net Appropriation $13.1 billion $13.5 billion 

Net Increase from FY 2016-17 $418,345,587 $818,345,587 

K-12 Education 

Every current teacher will see an increase in their pay, and starting teacher pay is $35,000. 

Teachers in North Carolina will receive salary increases averaging almost 10% by 2019 after the fourth consecutive teacher pay raise from the Republican-led General Assembly since 2014. 

Assistant principal salaries will increase an average of 13% and principal salaries will increase an average of 9% by 2019. 

 Teachers with 25+ years of experience will receive a bonus of $385 in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. 

North Carolina had the fastest rising teacher pay in the nation since 2014. 

 North Carolina’s state-funded average teacher pay is increasing by 7.2% over the next biennium compared to the national average 2% increase. 

Non-certified and central office personnel will get a pay raise of $1,000 in the budget biennium. 

Funds teacher bonus, recruitment and retention programs: 

 Third Grade Read to Achieve Teacher Bonuses, AP/IB/Cambridge AICE Teacher Bonuses, Career and Technical Education Teacher Bonuses, Math & Reading Performance Bonuses, Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Program, Initial Teacher Licensing Fee Reimbursement, Teach for America, Salary Supplements for Highly Qualified Graduates and the N.C. Teaching Fellows program. 

The 2017-2019 budget adds $11.2 million of additional funds for textbooks and digital resources, and $2.4 million for the state’s digital learning plan. 

Streamlines spending to classrooms by reducing N.C. Department of Public Instruction costs 6.2% and 13.9% over the next 2 years, and reducing central office administration by 7.4% in first year and 11.6% in the second. 

Gives the Superintendent of Public Instruction $1,000,000 to audit his department and funds 10 new positions within his office. 

Establishes three competitive grant programs: 

 Provides $4.9 million to expand Career Technical Education programs to 6th and 7th grade students in select school systems. 

 Funds $6 million of the At Risk Allotment each year to support extended learning and integrated student support services for at-risk students. 

Provides over $6 million to raise the funding cap for students with disabilities. 

 Creates an Education Savings Account program for students with disabilities to receive up to $9,000 in scholarships. 

 Appropriates additional $30 million to Opportunity Scholarships for low-income students. 

 Provides all Cooperative and Innovative High Schools with supplemental funding. 

 Adds 3,525 additional Pre-K slots. 

 Changes the Achievement School District’s name to the Innovative School District (ISD). 

Adds $3 million to expand the NC Works Career Coaches Program to help high schools partner with local community colleges 

 Creates Joint Legislative Task Force on education funding reform, to complete a report with proposed legislation by Oct. 1, 2018, and forms a task force to study additional school choice accountability. 

 Funds the New Teacher Support Program and the Future Teachers of NC to provide professional development to new teachers and high school educators. 

Increases the net appropriation for NC Promise by $11 million to support additional enrollment at participating universities offering $500/semester tuition in North Carolina. 

University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings called the budget “a good day for the University” that “signals greater investment in 

and strong support for the University and furthers many of the goals of the UNC Strategic Plan – including accessibility, affordability, efficiency, and student success.” 

“And by increasing salaries for our faculty and staff and making a greater investment in our Faculty Retention Fund, we will be able to reward and retain the top talent so critical to our enterprise,” Spellings continued. 

 Transfers North Carolina’s apprenticeship program to the community college system to promote career technical education and job placement. 

 Reserves $46.6 million to meet UNC system enrollment growth this fall. 

 Pays for 800 additional full-time equivalent students in the state community college system this fiscal year: $4.9 million. 

Provides the UNC system with $10 million to support modernized data collection and integration projects that support student success, accessibility, retention and graduation rates. 

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N.C. House Fulfills Job Growth Agenda, Adjourns

Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina House of Representatives adjourned the 2017 long legislative session of the state General Assembly on Friday after enacting a historic state budget, providing more middle class tax relief and fulfilling a job growth agenda that has produced record savings, revenue surpluses and rapid economic growth. 

“We’re here to help North Carolina’s economy grow by being good stewards of public dollars, offering students an excellent education system and providing middle class tax relief wherever we can,” said House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland). “The House agenda is focused on the prosperity of our people – North Carolina natives and new arrivals alike – and making the tough choices and key reforms necessary to improve state government and secure a successful future for our citizens.” 

“Thanks to the hard work of the Republican-led General Assembly, North Carolina families can have confidence that they live in one of 

the best states to build a high quality of life – one with sound financial footing, low taxes and record savings that prepare us for emergencies. Republicans’ pro-growth tax relief, education investments and economic reforms allow small businesses to invest with the assurance that North Carolina offers a well-trained workforce and top-tier opportunities for job creation.” 

“I appreciate the hard work of every House member this session, all the legislative staff and each citizen of North Carolina who we are so proud to serve statewide.” 

In 2017 North Carolina House Republicans: 

 Directed disaster relief funds to regions hit by Hurricane Matthew, tropical storms and wildfires. 

 Cut taxes for low-income and middle class families by increasing the zero tax bracket and lowering the income tax rate for every North Carolinian, removing 95,000 working people from any state income tax liability. 

 Passed opioid crisis legislation and appropriated $10 million toward statewide programs for substance abuse treatment and recovery programs. 

 Saved energy ratepayers millions through comprehensive energy solutions legislation that encourages diverse power sources while protecting consumers through competition and free market reforms. 

 Passed a fourth consecutive teacher pay raise that provides an average 9.6 percent increase over two years, and raised principal pay as well. 

 Saved a record $1.8 billion rainy day reserve fund, the highest total dollar amount and percentage of the state budget in North Carolina history. 

 Provided state employee raises and bonuses and funded a cost-of-living adjustment for state retirees. 

 Increased public education spending by $700 million over two years, fully funded classroom enrollment growth, supported new school construction and provided incentives to attract teachers through a new N.C. Teaching Fellows program, Teach for America, Salary Supplements for Highly Qualified Graduates and a Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Program. 

 Increased funding for the Strategic Transportation Investments Program (STIP) by over $320 million over two years, generating 100 new highway projects over a 10-year period, and appropriating $241 million for structurally deficient bridges, $100 million for immediate construction needs and millions more to reduce congestion, increase road mobility and ensure safety. 

 Guaranteed $500 tuition per semester at three North Carolina universities through the N.C. Promise Program, making higher education more affordable and accessible to thousands of in-state students. 

 Continued reforming bad regulations by simplifying, consolidating and eliminating unnecessary rules and reporting requirements on local governments, agencies, businesses and individuals to cut through red tape and encourage job creation and economic expansion. 

 Added more than 3,500 Pre-K slots and eliminated 75 percent of the waitlist for at-risk children. 

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