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North Carolina still does not have a state budget in the traditional sense, but much of the state budget has passed into law. That is why you do not see parks closed or public services shuttered — problems you typically see when the federal government fails to pass a budget.
Yet the failure to pass a state budget still presents problems for a number of reasons.
• Teachers and public school employees have not gotten a pay raise of any kind.
• No statewide bond for school facilities and clean water infrastructure.
• No Medicaid expansion.
This past week, the General Assembly passed billions in tax cuts, while at the same time passing bills with teacher and public school employee pay raises significantly smaller than the raises the state is providing to all other state employees. Gov. Roy Cooper is likely to veto these bills. Legislative leaders also continue to block our attempts to double the retiree cost-of-living adjustment from ½ a percent to a full percent. Legislative leaders also continue to refuse to hear a Medicaid expansion bill.
The General Assembly has now adjourned until Nov. 13. The next step should be a negotiation between the different sides, but we will have to wait and see.
CHARTER SCHOOL GRANTS
Does your school qualify for the N.C. ACCESS Grant? Your school could be awarded up to $1.25 million, so take this quick survey below to see if your school qualifies:
For schools entering years 1-3 of operation:
• Have you achieved at least a B SPG and met or exceeded growth for at least two of the last three years? If the answer is yes, then you may apply for this grant!
Schools operating for at least three years must meet at least one of the following criteria:
• Have you achieved at least a C and met/exceeded growth for the past three school years and have a graduation rate higher than the state average? If the answer is yes, then you may apply for this grant!
If you can answer yes to one of the questions above, then you are a candidate for the N.C. ACCESS grant!
Now the even more exciting part? Grant help is on the way!
Leaders Building Leaders and the N.C. Public Charter School Association are partnering to offer N.C. ACCESS grant-writing support.
Join us for a live workshop on either Nov. 26 in Charlotte or Jan. 22 in Durham. We’ll walk you through how to write a compelling N.C. ACCESS grant application, and we will write the Letter of Intent that is due Jan. 15.
Last year’s workshop resulted in $1.25 million in awards for our participants. Let us guide you and your team to a successful N.C. ACCESS grant application!
The Office of Charter Schools is hosting grant information sessions those same days. They are in the morning and we are in the afternoon. Plus, we provide lunch!
For more information, visit the shortened link https://bit.ly/2qa964b.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is accepting open enrollments from now until Dec. 15 for 2020 health plan options.
If you’re interested in purchasing health insurance through the marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov.
Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, represents the entirety of Wilson County in the N.C. House. This column is adapted from her weekly email newsletter to constituents.