Category Archives: Education

$15M of diverted revenue goes unaddressed in new A-B Tech tax deal with Buncombe County

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Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College supporters cheer Nov. 8, 2011, after finding out voters narrowly passed the quarter-cent sales tax referendum. (Photo11: Citizen Times file)

(Asheville Citizen-Times) A deal passed in a split vote Tuesday night doesn’t seek to recover funding spent on what Chairman Brownie Newman called “frankly, poor decisions,” but it could move officials past a longstanding dispute over how to use money that was promised to fund new construction at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and nothing more.

That’s despite the fact that Buncombe County transferred more than $15 million of the revenue to its own coffers and later used the money to pay employees, including corrupt administrators Greene and Jon Creighton, and to fund operational needs long before commissioners voted to expand the use of the tax.

Newman and commissioners Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Amanda Edwards voted against the proposal Tuesday night.  Dissenting commissioners said the county should take more time to deliberate an official vote on the deal, which falls short of a $130 million plan for new construction that was pitched to voters during the 2011 referendum. They also acknowledged the handling of the tax has damaged relations between the county and A-B Tech — and the public.

Read the full report by Jennifer Bowman HERE>

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Voters were promised a sales tax would be for A-B Tech projects alone. That didn’t happen.

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Western Carolina sets enrollment record thanks to discount tuition program

screen-shot-2019-02-11-at-11.59.09-am(Carolina Journal) Enrollment at Western Carolina University is at a record high now that a low-tuition plan for select University of North Carolina schools is in effect.

WCU’s enrollment has spiked to 11,028. That’s almost 800 students more than were enrolled this time last year. Republican lawmakers link the growth to N.C. Promise, a $500 per semester tuition plan for in-state students. The plan also dropped out-of-state tuition to $2,500 a semester.

N.C. Promise became law in 2016. The cut-rate tuition applies to Elizabeth City State University and UNC Pembroke, in addition to WCU. State legislators invested $51 million in the program. Their main goal was to improve enrollment at some of North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, although only ECSU chose to participate in NC Promise.

Read the full report by Kari Travis HERE>