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Archive for February 1st, 2013

N&O: Wake School Board Member Debra Goldman Has Moved Out Of Wake County

Republican Wake school board member Debra Goldman has reportedly left Wake County for Wilkes County, which means her days as a board member are coming to a close.

Under school board policy, the remaining school board members would appoint a successor to Goldman’s seat, which expires in November. The departure of Goldman, a Republican, would give the board’s Democratic majority even more of a chance to increase its control.

The school board is already scheduled to fill one vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican board member Chris Malone, who was elected in November to a seat in the state House. The board will interview the eight applicants for the position and pick a replacement Tuesday.

Care to wager which political party the two new members of the “nonpartisan” board will represent?
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From JLF Director of Research and Education Studies, Terry Stoops, comes the must-read blog of the day, which uses DPI data to crush the Left’s often-reputed, silly claim that GOP legislators have decimated the public school classroom. Uh, no.

Eeeeeevil Republicans fund over 3,000 more public school jobs in 2012-13

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“hundreds of millions of dollars” in mismanagement

Carolina Journal’s Dan Way provides details of the new audit of the state’s Medicaid program, which shows a debacle of government mismanagement. The audit was released Thursday by Auditor Beth Wood. Gov. McCrory and HHS Secretary Aldona Wos joined Wood for a news conference.

Wood said the 70-page audit, covering the period from 2009-12, contains 20 recommendations for improvement, many of which have to do with budget planning and forecasts.

Moreover, McCrory said another audit of the Department of Health and Human Services is under way covering more current matters. Neither he nor Wood would say what it involved because it is likely to include investigative work.

“The potential savings through improved administration and better management of the program could be enormous for our citizens, perhaps reaching hundreds of millions of dollars,” Wood said.

“For the last three fiscal years, the state of North Carolina has exceeded the certified budget in the Medicaid spending area of over $1.4 billion in each year,” Wood said. Of that, she said, $375 million each year is state dollars; the balance is federal funds.

The Division of Medical Assistance, which is responsible for Medicaid, is incapable of forecasting multi-year budgets or providing accurate information on the current budget year, according to audit findings. 

As an example, Wood said, the division provided forecasts for only five of the 14 categories in which Medicaid money is spent.

Two categories had more than $190 million in shortfalls combined due to poor budgeting, Wood said. Another had an unanticipated $127 million surplus.

“In at least one case, Medicaid program officials told us that they didn’t really know what the spending was going to be in that particular area, and so they budgeted zero dollars,” Wood said.

In the private sector, the people responsible for this would be fired.

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From Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner:

They never took a dime of President Obama’s costly and massive auto bailout, but Uncle Sam can’t say the same about tapping the generosity of Ford Motor Company.

In a reversal rich with recession irony, Ford on Thursday provided $500,000 to the Smithsonian Institution to expand the kid-friendlySpark!Lab at the National Museum of American History and its Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

Meanwhile, GM still owes you and me $21.6 billion.

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I Deserve It And Somebody Else Should Pay For It

It’s hard to know where to begin to address all the flawed, misguided, troubling thinking espoused in this NC State Technician piece about student loan debt. The story profiles members of a group called Strike Debt Raleigh, which is identified as an offshoot of Occupy Raleigh. Thus, it’s no surprise that the view the members share in common is that they are oppressed — despite the fact, of course, that they are attending a highly respected university and have the world before them. The members decry student loan debt and want it to be wiped off the books — by other people of course, not them. Nowhere in the story is their any mention or thoughts about their responsibility to pay for their education.

Rachel Davis, a member of Strike Debt Raleigh said she sees debt as less of an unfortunate misgiving in the U.S. than as a violation against citizens’ rights.

“[Higher education is] a right, not a privilege,” Davis said. “You don’t want a future generation to be held back by their debt.”

Gad said she believes legislation has become restrictive of public education in the state, and could lead to more student debt or a decrease in higher education beneath the wealthy.

“When you raise the price to go to college, you are only going to have people with the most money attending,” Gad said.

The fact is, higher education has never been so accessible to so many. Women now dominate many university campuses and degree programs, including advanced degree programs. Families  of modest means have multiple public and private grant and loan programs that have opened the door widely to young women and men who would not have been able to attend college decades ago. And recruitment and talent-spotting efforts now ensure that minorities are afforded the opportunity.


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