The Post in Which I Compare Belly Fat, Potato Chips aqnd a New Public School Bond Request

We were going to fund repairs and new construction as needed…but instead, we will borrow money. Which oddly enough, is exactly the way we’ve done this before.

 

NC Policy Watch:

State House Speaker Tim Moore announced that he would file a bill to put a $1.9 billion public school bond on the ballot, addressing at least a portion of the state’s capital needs.

According to Moore’s release, $1.3 billion would go to K-12 construction needs, $300 million to the UNC system, and $300 million to North Carolina’s community colleges.

I shouldn’t complain. The repairs and expansion will probably get funded.  

Lawmakers did authorize and voters approved a $2 billion bond in 2016 to fund STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) facilities on UNC campuses, but the state’s K-12 schools have long bemoaned the state of crumbling facilities in some of North Carolina’s poorer regions.

State lawmakers didn’t notice that some counties were poorer? That the funding formula creates inequality?

And if this bond measure goes through, lawmakers will wait until folks forget about the last two bonds before asking voters to fund another bond to pay for something else. 

State officials told legislators nearly three years ago that the school construction tab was expected to balloon to $13 billion by 2026…

Oh, and somebody is going to point out that this will only increase taxes a very small amount. That’s like me justifying polishing off a bag of chips containing six grams of fat, saying that compared to the fat already hanging over my belt…six grams is very little.

Please.

When you borrow more than a billion dollars, it costs a lot of money.  If you need to borrow more than a billion dollars for something so predictable as educational infrastructure, something is wrong.

We Have Located the Greatest University, Ever

Located in Lund, Sweden.  The story comes from thelocal.se
A chemistry professor at Lund University dispatched a team of mercenaries into an Islamic State (also known as IS, Isis or Daesh) war zone to free one of her doctoral students and his family.
Charlotta Turner, professor in Analytical Chemistry, received a text message from her student Firas Jumaah in 2014 telling her to to assume he would not finish his thesis if he had not returned within a week. 
While credit goes to the professor [and a nomination for Greatest Professor of All Time!] it turns out the university has access to mercenaries.

 

Lund University

Motto: Do NOT mess with our grad students!

The article continues:

She contacted the university’s then security chief Per Gustafson. “It was almost as if he’d been waiting for this kind of mission,” Turner said. “Per Gustafson said that we had a transport and security deal which stretched over the whole world.”

Over a few days of intense activity, Gustafson hired a security company which then arranged the rescue operation. A few days later two Landcruisers carrying four heavily-armed mercenaries roared into the area where Jumaah was hiding, and sped him away to Erbil Airport together with his wife and two small children.

Other family members were left behind, but survived.

And to think, I waited 4 weeks for a certified transcript from Fayetteville State.

Obligation vs. Duty

At times like these, I’m increasingly glad I never became a lawyer. 

The only armed deputy stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the day of Nikolas Cruz’s deadly rampage asked a Broward judge on Wednesday to find he had “no legal duty” to protect the students and faculty from harm.

The judge rejected his argument.

Image result for scot peterson

Badge, gun, title, paycheck.  But no duty?

“We want to say he had an obligation, but the law isn’t that,” said Peterson’s lawyer, Michael Piper. “From a legal standpoint, there was no duty.”

It is entirely possible that though I earned a degree in teaching, maintain a license to teach and am being paid to teach…I have no legal duty to teach.

 

Silent Sam Protest Takes Hold: No Grades

The College Fix:

Teaching assistants at the University of North Carolina have threatened to hold up to 2,200 grades if school officials do not reconsider their plan for the controversial “Silent Sam” statue.

This past Monday, UNC officials announced the memorial to Confederate soldiers would be housed in a new campus facility. That evening, protesters took to the streets to voice their displeasure.

On Friday, activists announced online that 79 teaching assistants had signed a petition in opposition to the Silent Sam plan, and indicated they would “withhold [the] grades” if Chancellor Carol Folt and the UNC Board of Trustees did not relent.

Tuition and fees to attend: $23,810.

Somehow I figure that students who attend the university should get grades. Of course, actual professors might have to submit the grades, and wow, that’s a lot of work.

Not Motivated by Racial Bias…

…but I’d say it was motivated in part by cluelessness.

The Washington Post:

A cloth figure was suspended on a rope hanging from a tree Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, alarming people who saw it and who then shared images of it on social media.

University officials were notified Tuesday of “noosed figures” hanging from a tree outside an arts building on campus, according to Buffie Stephens, a university spokeswoman. The university’s department of police and public safety investigated and found it was an art project submitted by a student of color for an end-of-semester assignment. “At this time, there is no evidence to suggest the project was motivated by racial bias,” university officials wrote in a message to campus.

Source. Sorry about the WTF reference.

Quote of the Day

Public school teachers expressed dissatisfaction with their salaries and treatment by elected officials by staging mass walkouts and protests in a number of states, such as Arizona, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, to name a few.

Meanwhile, a number of reformers were reflecting inwardly and asking hard questions about the state of education reform, including current and future challenges. It is not a stretch to say there’s plenty of frustration and angst among both groups these days. — Executive Summary, 2018 Schooling in America report by EdChoice.

As the name indicates, this is a group which advocates for school choice. That said, the summary is worth a read though the report is 80 pages.