WECT-TV did a local piece on a proposal in the General Assembly to merge North Carolina’s two costly pre-kindergarten interventions: Smart Start and More at Four. The concern among those working in the latter program, which focuses on disadvantaged children, is that their education-oriented program may lose its focus if swallowed by the larger Smart Start bureaucracy, which is essentially a day care subsidy and regulation system.
I’m sympathetic to the concern. My solution? Keep More at Four, which is means-tested and may have some long-term benefits, and ditch Smart Start, which isn’t and won’t. We should convert the entire Smart Start budget, nearly $200 million, into tax credits for families with preschool children. More details here and here.Read full article » No Comments »
The latest Pender Post updates some local stories I previously noted here on Squall Lines:
• The chairman of the county commission, Jimmy Tate, met with local NAACP president Rachel Stephens to discuss her allegations of a lack of diversity on county boards. Although both described the four-hour meeting as positive, they aren’t of one mind when it comes to the possibility that the state NAACP will conduct an “audit” of Pender’s appointment practices. Tate said he wanted to head it off. Stephens said it was beyond her control and that continued involvement from the state chapter was likely.
That’s too bad. The result will be probably shed more heat than light on the subject, based on past experience.
• Burgaw leaders decided not to create a new historic district commission.
Town Planner Chad McEwen said Monday the town’s board of commissioners indefinitely tabled the idea due to potential costs. “Right now there are other budget priorities,” McEwen said. “It wasn’t seen as either needed or unnecessary – we just wanted to see how people felt about it.”
He indicated that the town might reconsider when the economy improves. But if it’s neither needed or necessary, why spent tax dollars on it any time?Read full article » 1 Comment »