City may add $425,000 in Federal Funds to affordable housing effort

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The city may boost the number of low-cost homes in the region with a $425,000 infusion of federal money. The City Council Tuesday is set to vote on allocating the money to 88 projects in Buncombe and surrounding counties. In addition to helping to build affordable homes and apartments, the grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would help find homes for 14 families who would otherwise be homeless and upgrade two homes that have fallen into serious disrepair. In several cases, the money will add new units to already existing projects. The money isn’t enough to fully build the projects, but serves as seed money, said Jeff Staudinger, Asheville community and economic development assistant director. “We can never raise enough to do the whole project. It’s usually enough to do a couple units,” Staudinger said. “What this does is allow these organizations to leverage the money into even more funding.”

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The coming crisis: Too few teachers for NC

(Raleigh News & Observer) For more than a year, media outlets have trumpeted stories about North Carolina’s decline in per pupil funding, elimination of teacher tenure, end of additional salary for earning master’s degrees, removal of class-size caps, elimination of the Teaching Fellows Program, introduction of vouchers and growing exodus of teachers from the profession. While the past year has been tumultuous, North Carolina is only now feeling the forward winds ahead of the real storm. Our state’s colleges of education, the training ground for our most successful career teachers, are seeing substantial declines in enrollment, and a potentially serious teacher shortage is looming.

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