“As a community, we have the opportunity to change the direction and priorities of City Council by electing representatives who more closely reflect our values and vision for Asheville going forward.”
This fall, two Buncombe County high schools — T.C. Roberson and A.C. Reynolds — will begin using the Vitals app, which provides information about participating students’ physical, mental and behavioral conditions to school resource officers and other first responders.
Most of the 16 public commenters at the June 4 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners hearing on the budget made the case for allocations beyond the roughly $334.52 million in suggested general fund spending. Libraries, schools and nonprofits all approached commissioners for more money.
Activists with the Health Equity Coalition are organizing a Friday, May 24, community forum to explore how the $1.5 billion Dogwood Health Trust, created from the sale of Mission Health, offers the prospect of “life-changing” investments in the wellbeing of residents in 18 Western North Carolina counties. Also, it’s time to strive to drive less in the runup to the Strive Beyond Summit at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Mills River on Friday, May 31, from 3-5 p.m.
While Buncombe County’s current proposed budget includes nearly $3.6 million in new education funding, total requests from local systems on May 7 came to roughly $8.16 million. That figure includes $1.06 million more for A-B Tech, $2.09 million for Asheville City Schools and $5.01 million in increased funding for Buncombe County Schools.
Speaking at the board’s April 30 budget work session, Chair Brownie Newman emphasized that education officials shouldn’t count on “automatic” growth of county support. “I think they should have to justify all of it,” he said.
“Oversight in this kind of system — where the board is appointed by a body with no regulatory authority, in a process closed to school employees, families and the community as a whole — is more than a little messed up. It is completely unaccountable, open to all kinds of corruption and anti-democratic, not to mention a lousy use of resources.”
“Life chose me by a golden chance to have superpowers for just 24 hours, and I used them to revive our planet.”
“The importance of black history and the contributions of many African-Americans in our state and national history cannot be overstated.”
Statistics show that American schools throw away more than $1 billion worth of food every year. Asheville-area schools and organizations are taking some steps toward alleviating the problem.
“If you want to make a difference in a child’s life and are looking for a way to give back, please consider becoming a volunteer tutor with Read to Succeed.”
Local nonprofit Just Economics increased its living wage rates for 2019. 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.
“Health concerns in the news have been exposing one after another link to the increase of sugary beverages in the diet, adding to the obesity pandemic worldwide, not to mention the astronomical rise in diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases.”
In this week’s news in brief, read about the Sunday, Sept. 30, event that promises to help you get more engaged in shaping city government. Learn which Buncombe County teachers won top honors, and check out the initial results of Warren Wilson College’s initiative to offer all eligible incoming North Carolina students four years of tuition-free education.
Area school districts checked their state report cards, which indicated moderate gains at many local public schools. Henderson County Public Schools launched a virtual public school with district teachers to expand educational offerings and settings for any high school student in the system.
Thanks to a second round of state grant funding announced in early August, area students will have access to an expanded series of coding programs and courses at the high school and middle school levels. Local employers and economic development boosters say tech skills are vital to securing good jobs now and in the future.
Thanks to funding approved by the the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the system will soon have six additional SROs in its elementary schools — an expansion that carries an estimated recurring cost of more than $400,000 per year.
Commissioners will vote Tuesday, Sept. 4, whether to commit to a forensic audit of Buncombe County finances.
Shortly before greeting students for the start of the 2018-19 school year, a small group of local educators rallied at the Buncombe County Courthouse on Aug. 24, pressing for more investment in public education. The Asheville demonstration was one of six held across the state.
The resolution sets the stage for the county to reimburse itself through bonds should it initially finance planned construction projects with operating funds. According to Internal Revenue Service regulations, wrote Interim County Manager George Wood, a bond resolution must precede spending money on projects that might later be refinanced using bonds.
“Of particular interest is the surprise that the Buncombe school system is ahead of the Asheville system in sex ed, despite Asheville not having viable fundamentalist opposition, unlike in Buncombe.”