Arts + Entertainment

Stagnating pay for North Carolina teachers is prompting some local school leaders to dig a little deeper for salary bonuses at the county level.

fr reynoldsWilliam McDowell remembers when segregation was a reality in Canton.

“When I was a kid we weren’t allowed to sit anywhere but the balcony at the Colonial Theatre in downtown,” he said. “You couldn’t eat in certain restaurants and there were black and white drinking fountains — segregation was really enforced.”

After a morning of arguments from both sides of the school voucher debate, N.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ordered the state to refrain from accepting voucher applications, selecting recipients, awarding money or implementing any other part of its program to provide private school scholarships to low-income students until the full case has been heard.

Haywood County Schools’ attorney has countered accusations that Pisgah High School administrators allegedly hampered a student’s attempt to form a club for atheists and non-religious students. 

art frThe loud pounding echoed from the end of the empty corridor.

Crossing the threshold of the last classroom on the left at Smokey Mountain Elementary School in Whittier, one could see — and hear — that the source of the sound came from the feverish hands of students during their afternoon art class. Like an army of woodpeckers, the pupils each hammered away at copper sheet metal in an effort to make their designs a physical reality.

A club for non-religious students is being formed at Pisgah High School after a freshman enlisted the help of a national group to go to bat for her.

fr declinetosignUsually, you’d expect a school system to jump at the chance to give its teachers a raise, but superintendents statewide are now rolling up their sleeves for an unpleasant task: figuring out a process to determine the top 25 percent of teachers in their district and offering those people a pay increase. 

fr footballSwain County students may have been cheering when the high school football team’s trip to the state semifinals meant everyone got out early that day, but not all parents felt the same way. Elizabeth Wilmot, a Bryson City resident with two children who attend elementary school, was angry when she received an automated call from the school system on Tuesday, Dec. 3, informing her that school would be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. that Friday, Dec. 6. 

fr olddssHaywood County leaders have substantially lowered the asking price for the empty, run-down, old hospital — it’s now free.

op frThe ramifications of one particularly disturbing directive passed in the last session of the General Assembly is unfolding right now in every county in North Carolina, and it promises to provide some spirited political drama that just about no one saw coming when it passed.

Legislative leaders decided they would provide meager pay raises of $2,000 over four years — yes, a whopping $500 a year — to 25 percent of teachers in each of the state’s school systems. The lawmakers decided it was best to leave it up to each school system to decide how to conjure up a fair formula to decide which teachers would get a raise and which wouldn’t.

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