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North Carolina Nears A Budget

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly
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The North Carolina General Assembly is set to vote on a budget this week, one that has defenders of public education up in arms. The proposed budget ends teacher tenure, holds teacher salary flat and cuts funding for teacher assistants.

Dave Dewitt, WUNC Raleigh Bureau Chief, told Frank Stasio on The State of Things that those and other changes to aspects of state public education add up to a dramatic impact.

"Taken individually, those would be big changes to education in any session, but you put them all together and it really is a fundamental shift," he said.

Becki Gray, vice president of outreach at the John Locke Foundation. said  that the budget is a step in the right direction.

"I think it's a very good budget," she said, adding later. "We're seeing a focus on limited government. I think we're seeing a focus on better management, cost containment -- fixing stuff if you will. And then a new focus on accountability and measures with taxpayer money."

Tazra Mitchell, a fellow at the NC Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center, said

"Legislators set their priorities through the budget...this budget does fix some things, but it also includes a lot of setbacks for North Carolinians," she said.

The budget also compensates victims of the state’s eugenics program, and it ends funding of the embattled Rural Center.

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
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