Friday, April 12, 2013

Dealing With "At Risk" Kids in NC: Define Them Out of Existence

Justin Burr
In 2011 Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled that the state of North Carolina has a constitutional duty to provide free pre-kindergarten to all at-risk four-year-olds. The state defined "at risk" as children from families of four making less than $51,000 a year. Last year, under that definition, the number of at-risk four-year-olds in the state was estimated at 67,000. But under the first Republican budget, the one that Governor Perdue vetoed and the Republicans in the General Assembly (with the help of five dim Democrats) over-rode, the state allotted funding for only about 26,000 seats.

That's when Judge Manning got involved and said, "You can't do that, you poltroons."

In 2012, the state Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Manning's ruling. The State Supreme Court agreed last month to also hear the case.

In the meantime, Republican Appropriations Committee chair Justin Burr came up with the perfect Republican solution: "up" is no longer up, and "down" is no longer down, and his bill would change the definition of an "at-risk child." Under Mr. Burr's bill, an at-risk child would have to be at 100% of poverty, which is about $22,000 for a family of four.

Fun with definitions!

1 comment:

Posmo said...

Well, you know, Kooky George Cleveland denies that there are any poor people in North Carolina, so in the Cleveland/Burr alternate universe, I'm sure this makes sense.

Not here in Reality Land, mind you, but surely in the McCrory/Tillis/Berger world where everyone has enough money to make generous campaign contributions, and all kids are in private schools (better yet, home-schooled), it probably makes sense.