Critical race theory, a set of ideas about the ways race influences society, drew 13 commenters at a June 3 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Education. Officials at both the county and Asheville city school systems say they do not explicitly teach CRT and encourage students to develop their own judgments.
“The school nutrition director was prohibited from implementing, completing and/or fulfilling various compliance requirements in the non-school programs,” notes a report compiled by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction regarding Asheville City Schools.
If the vote takes place as planned, it would mark the second consecutive year in which the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved the budget immediately after the public hearing. Last year, Chair Brownie Newman noted that the board has historically allowed some time between the hearing and the vote to consider resident input.
The potential closure and sale of the APS campus had drawn intense community pushback since being initially recommended as a cost-saving measure by Superintendent Gene Freeman on Dec. 7.
Over the course of the 2020-2021 school year, seventh graders at Asheville Middle School have worked to uncover the past as a way to better understand the present day and change the future of Western North Carolina.
Specifics on how the Asheville City Schools system spends its local allocation (at over $5,800 per student, the second-highest in North Carolina) and its plans to reduce costs have been hard to come by — and may have been concealed in violation of state open meetings law during a May 18 special closed session of the Asheville City Board of Education.
The 20,000-square-foot facility, to be operated by A-B Tech, would “provide a pipeline of skilled workers prior to the plant opening, helping to recruit qualified candidates and pre-train and post-train employees.” The funding would come from future county bonds that would be repaid through local sales tax revenues.
“I hope that one day in the future — 200, 500, 1,000 years from now — those generations can stand next to a 6- or 8-foot diameter chestnut tree in our mountains and be able to trace the story of that tree back to today,” said Joey Owle, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians secretary of agriculture and natural resources, in a press release announcing the agreement.
“The last three superintendents we’ve had here, including you, have not brought anything but mayhem to the school system,” declared Buncombe Commissioner Al Whitesides to Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman.
Under current projections, even if the system taps into the entirety of its available reserves to cover expenses for fiscal year 2021-22, it would still face $865,000 in cuts to balance its budget. And if expenses and revenue trends continue on the same path, the necessary cuts for fiscal year 2022-23 could exceed $2 million.
In early April, Mars Hill University professor of religious studies Marc Mullinax debuted his new book, Tao Te Ching: Power for the Peaceful, a translation and interpretation that blends a scholarly awareness of the text’s original historical context with an accessible connection to the contemporary American experience.
At its first meeting since the March 23 appointments of James Carter, Jacquelyn Carr McHargue and Peyton O’Conner by Asheville City Council, the Asheville City Board of Education’s members chose Carter as chair and McHargue as vice chair in a pair of split decisions.
“[Ginseng] has tremendous benefits to the human body,” says Eidus.
Amanda Wray continues to expand the LGBTQIA+ Archive of Western North Carolina.
Made up of 18 community partners, the network would be convened and coordinated by the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County
The first quarter sales of the Go Local card represent a push by residents to support local businesses.
“I’m looking forward to the day we can have a centerpiece in our city that reflects Asheville today,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “And I’m proud to be part of the Council that will make this change.”
Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman disputed the account of a parent who said administrators failed to respond to repeated requests for information about what the closure of Asheville Primary School would mean to her daughter. After being provided with details by Xpress, Freeman spoke with Sara Shea on March 18.
“The path we’re on right now is a collision that puts us backwards and actually takes classrooms offline,” said Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, regarding the Asheville City Schools plan to relocate preschool classrooms from Asheville Primary School to other elementary schools and Asheville Housing Authority developments.
“Families of color have unfairly limited elementary school options for their children because the district is mandated to maintain antiquated racial quotas that were put into place 30 years ago,” writes Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman.
Following a pair of votes for different methods of picking the school board at Council’s meeting of March 9, the final say on its composition now rests with the N.C. General Assembly, which must pass legislation to enact any change.