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coverA small group of parents had been working quietly for about three years to get the first charter school established in Haywood County, and they were beginning to think they would make it through the process without experiencing the backlash everyone told them was sure to come.  

“Everyone warned us it’s going to be hard, but we thought everything was going great until August,” said Anna Eason, a Shining Rock Classical Academy board member. “We bragged about our community being so wonderful and accepting, but then it came out with vengeance.”

art frIt was a year-and-a-half ago that Western Carolina University’s director of athletic bands, David Starnes, was asked by United Sound founder Julie Duty to help put together a board for her nonprofit organization, which provides musical performance experiences for students with special needs.

coverAs people across North Carolina daydream about what they would do if they won millions from playing the lottery, they probably don’t give much thought to how the money is spent every time they buy a losing ticket. 

The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission would argue that no one is a loser when lottery revenue goes to fund education, but local school boards throughout the state might beg to differ. State lottery revenues have increased every year since it was launched in 2006, yet local school districts don’t feel like they are reaping the benefits.

fr ncbondWith $120 million at stake, higher education leaders in Western North Carolina have taken every opportunity in the last month to educate people about the Connect N.C. Bond proposal.

schoolsMacon County teachers recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of adding 20 minutes to their school days in an effort to get testing done before the Christmas holiday and fit in additional teacher workdays.

WCUWestern Carolina University leaders are getting ready to roll out the red carpet for the impending arrival of Margaret Spellings, the incoming president of the state’s public university system, who will be touring WCU campus on March 10.

WCUFears that a controversial economics policy center coming to Western Carolina University will be a vehicle to advance conservative, laissez-faire market theories have been partially quelled with the creation of a rigorous and robust faculty oversight board.

fr wcusenateWestern Carolina University Chancellor David Belcher had a heart-to-heart with university faculty last week about the controversy over a politically charged financial gift to WCU from the conservative Koch Foundation.

schoolsDemocratic candidates who pledge to fight for more education funding could resonate with parents witnessing the impacts of the funding shortfall in Haywood Schools. Or those voters could likewise be turned off by candidates making political hay over the issue.

haywoodAlert: A public meeting on the possible closure of Central Elementary School has been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday due to concerns over lingering hazardous road conditions. The new meeting time is 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The potential closure of an elementary school in Haywood County has become a poster child for those decrying funding cuts faced by traditional public schools.

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