NC Myths and Realities

Another Sunday, another great Rob Christensen column placing the recent legislative session in proper context.  In today’s column, he takes on a number of myths (polite language for “lies” Republicans have been telling about our state) and provides the actual story.  For example:

Myth No. 4: N.C. spending on public education is at an all-time high.

Actually, spending for secondary and elementary schools is less than it was five years ago, despite an increase in enrollment. The legislature appropriated $7.8 billion for the public schools this summer, less than the $7.9 billion than was appropriated during the 2008-2009 school year. The legislature did increase school spending $361 million over the previous year. Because of the recession, school spending was cut back several years, going from $7.9 billion in 2008-09 to $7.4 billion in 2009-10, to $7 billion in 2010-11, to $7.5 billion 2012-13, according to state budget documents.

Myth No. 7: North Carolina was no longer an attractive state because of high taxes.

Not according to the moving companies. The 2012 United Van Lines Migration Study found that North Carolina was the fourth highest destination for moves, following the District of Columbia, Oregon and Nevada. North Carolina has been growing at twice the national average. During the first decade of this century, only the states of Nevada and Texas grew faster than North Carolina, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Myth No. 9: N.C. teachers were never well paid.

Tar Heel teachers almost always trailed the national average, although they were as high as 25th in the country as late as 2008-09 school year. The recession was tough on teachers nearly everywhere, with their salaries declining in 32 states, according a report prepared by the National Education Association. But North Carolina teacher salaries have plunged more than those in any other state, a real decrease of 15.7 percent, the NEA report said. North Carolina beat out Indiana for the biggest loss in teacher wages. The state now ranks 46th in teacher salaries.

And 7 more (Republican-instigated) myths as well.

Photo of the day

Lots of great photos in this animal-themes set from Big Picture.  This one is kind of astounding:

A sand tiger shark with an entire three-foot-long dogfish shark in its mouth were caught by the University of Delaware’s Ocean Exploration, Remote Sensing, Biogeography Group (ORB) off the coast of Delaware, July 19. The group baited a line with menhaden which the dogfish ate. It was then in turn swallowed by the sand tiger shark. The pictured sand tiger shark was tagged and released as part of the team’s research.(University of Delaware via EPA) 
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