News in brief: 2019 living wage, Henderson County school history program

SCHOOL DAYS: Hendersonville's Historic Johnson Farm will host a program on the history of Henderson County's schools at noon Wednesday, Jan. 16. Author Terry Ruscin will present a talk and photographs. Photo courtesy of Historic Johnson Farm

Just Economics announces living wage for 2019

As the cost of living continues to rise in Western North Carolina, local nonprofit Just Economics announced an increase in the pay rates it certifies as meeting its living wage standard. For those employees not offered employer-sponsored health insurance benefits, the new hourly rate is $13.65; for those offered health insurance, the new hourly rate is $12.15.

Just Economics defines a living wage as the minimum amount necessary to live without relying on taxpayer-supported financial assistance programs or outside help. The nonprofit offers a voluntary certification program for employers that commit to accepting its living wage rate as the minimum it pays its workers.

According to a press release, the Just Economics voluntary certification network is the largest of its kind in the country with more than 425 employers participating. To retain living wage certification, employers currently participating in the program must make the necessary adjustments by Jan. 1, 2020; new businesses seeking initial certification must offer the new rate in 2019.

“A living wage is one of the best ways to move people out of poverty. It helps reduce stress and tension for the most vulnerable and marginalized workers, and it’s an economic engine as low-wage workers tend to put their pay right back into the local economy as they pay their bills and provide for the needs of their families,” said Carmen Ramos-Kennedy, the living wage program coordinator for Just Economics, in a press release.

Buncombe County Schools schedules makeup days

To make up three missed school days due to snow in December, Buncombe County Schools announced that Tuesday, Jan. 22, will be a full school day for students. Friday, Jan. 18, will be an early release day, and Monday, Jan. 21 will remain a holiday, with no school that day.

The two remaining missed days will be replaced at the end of the school year, moving the final day for students to Tuesday, June 11.

Johnson Farm presents program on Henderson County school history

Local author Terry Ruscin will present a program on the history of Henderson County schools at noon Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Historic Johnson Farm, 3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Tickets to the lecture, which includes a presentation of historical photographs, are $5.

According to a press release, the program will cover a range of school types, from one-room schoolhouses to buildings designed by Erle G. Stillwell, and will address history including consolidation and desegregation. A few of the schools to be discussed include “Adam’s Run, Dry Hill, Union Hill, the Port of Rugby School, the School for Little Folks and Episcopal mission schools. Mills River Academy counts among the earliest institutions, as do Judson College, Fassifern School for Girls, Blue Ridge School for Boys, the Fruitland Institute and the Rosenwald School at East Flat Rock,” the press release says.

Future Johnson Farm history programs will include “Quilting Through the Years” presented by Susan Trotter at noon Wednesday, Feb. 6 and “Legacy of Bear Mountain” presented by Janie McKinley at noon Wednesday, Feb. 20. More information at 828-891-6585.

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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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