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Armed school marshals proposed in new bill

After all the recent controversy about whether Wake County elementary schools should have unarmed or armed security, a new state Senate bill could affect the situation.

The "Public School Protection" bill introduced Thursday would authorize school boards to designate people to the newly created position of school safety marshal. These people, who could be school employees, school volunteers, or people specially hired for the position, would be authorized to carry firearms on campus.

UNC president responds to McCrory radio remarks

UNC President Tom Ross responded to Gov. Pat McCrory's provocative comments today about the creation of a university funding model based on how many UNC graduates get jobs.

Ross said the quality of a UNC's value to North Carolina "should not be measured by jobs filled alone."

McCrory's comments have drawn a strong reaction from faculty, who said the governor's focus on education as job training is misplaced. The best preparation for a complex and changing world is a liberal arts education, many argued. McCrory's remarks came during a radio interview with Bill Bennett in which he took aim at gender studies, philosophy and African language courses.

McCrory wants to revamp higher ed funding -- takes aim at UNC-Chapel Hill

UPDATED:Gov. Pat McCrory said he would propose legislation to overhaul the way higher education is funded in North Carolina, putting the emphasis on job creation not liberal arts and taking specific aim at the state's flagship university.

"I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs," McCrory told conservative talk show host Bill Bennett, the former education secretary for President Ronald Reagan, during an interview Tuesday morning. (Listen to the audio here.

McCrory echoed a crack the radio show host made at gender studies courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, a top tier public university. "That's a subsidized course," McCrory said, picking up the argument. "If you want to take gender studies that's fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don't want to subsidize that if that's not going to get someone a job."

Legislative preview: Meet your delegation, look at the issues, meet key players

On Wednesday, the General Assembly returns to Raleigh to begin the long session, which is expected to last about five months. In today's paper we take a comprehensive look at the people and the issues that will be making the news, and the laws, in the months ahead. From lawmakers to lobbyists -- and lawmakers turned lobbyists -- plus key staffers behind the scenes, and an army of competing interests, the statehouse on Jones Street is about to begin whistling like a kettle.

Just happy to be here

N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson was a bit coy Thursday about a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education that said he was "widely considered to be a frontrunner" for the University of Florida presidency.

Tony Tata keeps the education circuit

Tony Tata is now the state's transportation secretary but he is still speaking an authority on education.

The embattled former Wake County school superintendent will speak to the Woman's Club of Raleigh on Wednesday about "Education and National Defense." Tata is a retired U.S. Army brigadier general. The event starts at 11:15 a.m. at the club.

Perdue's final days at the helm

Gov. Bev Perdue is spending her final full day as the state's chief executive touring two schools in Onslow County on Friday. The visits put her final focus on one of her top issues: education.

Perdue and her husband have been gradually moving items from the Executive Mansion in the past few weeks. But will move the final boxes Saturday morning. At noon, the Democratic governor plans to attend Gov.-elect Pat McCrory's noon swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol before departing for the final time.

Gov. Perdue touts digital learning efforts in her final days

Pat McCrory took the spotlight Wednesday with his economic speech. As he did Gov. Bev Perdue visited an Orange County school to highlight what she sees as one of her top achievements.

The Durham Herald-Sun attended the event: "In three different classrooms, the governor observed students using Lenovo laptops to work on Google documents, conduct virtual science experiments and analyze poetry.

“This is too cool,” Perdue said. “I’ve lived in Orange County for 13 years and this school’s always at the top. I’m really proud.”

Report notes North Carolina's longtime ties to ALEC

Dome meant to note this earlier, but it’s been a busy year: One local liberal group, Progress N.C., put out a report some months ago on the American Legislative Exchange Council that will likely have some bearing on the upcoming session.

ALEC was a significant part of Republican lawmakers’ agenda in Raleigh, with a “boot camp” on “model legislation,” a spring summit meeting of the organization’s various task forces – each specializes in specific issues – was held in Charlotte, and in the summer of 2011, a large contingent of Republican members of the House attended the national conference in New Orleans, where House Speaker Thom Tillis was named one of the legislators of the year.

Meanwhile, a drumbeat by liberal groups outed ALEC’s behind-the-scenes work to bring the corporate agenda to the nation’s legislators to pass pro-business laws. Despite the bad P.R., North Carolina legislators aren’t likely to severe their longstanding ties to ALEC, and the group will likely continue to be a player in the new session that begins in January.

Dan Forest will 'encourage personal responsability'

If elected, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Forest says he wants to emphasize education. He might want to start with spelling.

His latest campaign flier misspelled "responsibility." The N.C. Republican Party paid for the mailer -- which Forest authorized. Dome's not immune to typos so it's a good thing we're not running to control the state's No. 2 elected post like Forest.

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