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An Endemic: North Carolina’s Underfunded Schools



It is well-known that North Carolina’s education system is one of the worst in the United States. Leandro, an unresolved 1994 case filed by five school districts and affected families exemplifies this problem. Residents who were students in 1994 attending underfunded schools have since grown up and without a resolution in sight, have been forced to send their children to the same poorly funded schools. 

In the case, the plaintiffs had accused North Carolina’s leaders of violating their constitutional obligation to provide quality education for all children. The matter now rests with the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The Supreme Court is currently trying to determine whether the lower court was constitutionally within its rights in ordering the legislature to pay the schools the owed amount. At present, the legislature owes schools $1.7 billion minimum. 

Despite the ruling by North Carolina’s judiciary that the legislators had indeed failed to honor their constitutional obligation to provide quality education, underfunded school districts are yet to see any increases in funding. 

“We have to do better in North Carolina,” Rev. Corine Mack told Courier Newsroom publication, North Carolina-based news outlet, Cardinal & Pine. 

The case emanates from the principle that a child’s place of birth should not impact the quality of education received. The quality of education received significantly impacts the future these children will have, and thus, they must be given access to quality education and modern education. 

The reality, unfortunately, is far from the principled approach North Carolina students need. School funding is determined by the level of the county’s affluence. Students from affluent Orange County receive $5,800 annually in state-supported funding, whereas students in the less affluent Hoke County only receive $654 annually. 

Talking to Cardinal & Pine, Mack expressed her sadness for all the children whose futures have been impacted due to poor funding. “That’s what breaks my heart,” she exclaimed. 

It may be noted that the Leandro case has since expanded from the original five school districts to encompass all 100 counties now. Since then, the debate on inequality has also evolved, taking on a legal and philosophical perspective. According to David Hinojosa of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, this is a philosophical matter more than a legal one. Hinojosa told Courier Newsroom’s Cardinal & Pine. 

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that underfunded schools largely impact PoCs, such as brown and black students, as these students make up most of the underfunded schools. These schools lack modern technology, the buildings are in a state of disrepair, and the teachers and administrators are inexperienced. These schools also lack after-school programs, quality extracurriculars, or teaching assistants. 

The reason why some schools are underfunded is a cyclical problem. School funding is largely influenced by the local economy, political clout of state and local representation, real estate, and local wealth. So, less affluent counties tend to be underfunded. 

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have been able to solve this issue. The Republicans worsened the situation in 2013 when school funding was cut for tax reforms favoring the wealthy. 

Years of inaction prompted Superior Court Judge David Lee to order the legislature to pay $1.7 billion out of the $6.8 billion owed. This was responded with further inaction by the legislature which did not budget this amount, arguing Judge Lee’s order was unconstitutional. This is not a separation of powers issue as the North Carolina legislators are making it out to be. According to former North Carolina Supreme Court, Judge Bob Orr, a constitutional expert, there is little doubt over the ability of courts to remedy a breach of the Constitution. The court is within its powers, as “sound, basic education” is a constitutional right that is currently being violated by the state legislature. 

For some this is a constitutional crisis, for others the real crisis has been faced by the children in North Carolina, who continue to remain deprived of quality education. The fact that Leandro has dragged on for decades has exposed a sad answer to an ugly question: Is the value of children’s lives the same? The inaction from legislators signals a negative response. 

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How to Optimize Your Businesses Storage Space




When it comes to business, the need for storage space is something that almost all companies have in common. While physical items such as office supplies, files, and merchandise can take up quite a bit of space, digital data can also be a significant factor. Whether you have a lot or little storage space available in your business, here are seven tips to help you make better use of

1. Reassess What You Need to Store

The first step in optimizing your business’s storage space is to reassess what you need to store; start by asking yourself questions like:

  • Do we really need to keep all our documents and records?
  • Are there any items that can be disposed of safely, recycled or donated?
  • Can any items be digitized and stored electronically?

For physical items, you may find that a storage audit is beneficial. This can help to determine what should be kept, for how long, and how best to store it. Also consider the use of cloud storage services or document management systems; these allow documents to be stored securely off site while still being easily accessible.

2. Consider Off-Site Storage

If you still need to store items on site, consider off-site storage options such as self-storage units, mobile storage containers and portable storage sheds. These can provide a cost-effective way to optimize the space of your business premises while keeping your valuable documents and equipment safe and secure.

3. Streamline Your Filing System

Having an efficient filing system is essential when it comes to optimizing storage space. Being organized and having clear labels on files will save you time when looking for documents, as well as making sure your business stays tidy and clutter-free.

You may also want to consider the use of filing cabinets with drawers that can be locked – this helps to keep confidential information secure while still allowing easy access when required.

4. Invest in Storage Containers

Investing in the right storage containers can help to maximize your business’s storage space and keep it organized. There are a variety of options available, such as plastic boxes, wire baskets and stackable drawers. Think about what type of items you need to store and then invest in suitable containers that will help to keep everything neat and tidy.

5. Get Creative with Wall Space

Wall space is often overlooked when it comes to storage, but it can be used effectively to optimize your business’s storage space. Consider using shelves or pegboard to store items such as tools, books, documents and even artwork; this will free up floor space and make sure everything is easily accessible.

6. Use Hooks and Bins for Small Items

For small items such as office supplies or tools, hooks and bins can provide a great storage solution. Hooks are perfect for hanging items such as scissors, keys or lanyards; bins can be used to store smaller items like paper clips, stationery and other miscellaneous things.

Hooks and bins can also be useful in bathrooms or kitchens – they can be used to hang towels or store cleaning supplies, for example.

7. Utilize Dead Space

Dead space is an often-overlooked area in business premises that can be used to maximize storage and optimize your workspace. Consider using empty corners or narrow spaces; these can be used to store light items such as paperwork or files, freeing up valuable floor space.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your business storage space and optimize it for maximum efficiency. With a bit of creativity and some careful planning, you’ll be able to organize your business premises and boost productivity.

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Decluttering Before Moving: How to Prepare For Cross-Country Movers




When you are anticipating a cross-country move, one of the first thoughts that will come to mind is, “What will I do with all my stuff?” The more you decide to move with you, the greater the financial cost, so decluttering is the best way to make your move easier, as well as to save you money. Here are a few tips on how to decide which possessions are worth keeping, and which need to be discarded.

Start Your De-Cluttering Task Early

You should begin your decluttering effort as soon as you know you have arranged a date with your cross country movers. This will allow you the time to give some thought to what you will need in your new location. It will also give you enough time to dispose of items appropriately.

Begin With Less Frequently Used Rooms

Starting with a less frequently used room will give you the time and space needed to do a thorough job and get into the rhythm of making decisions about your possessions. Then, when you move to more utilized rooms, you will be in the habit of making these decisions more efficiently.

Create Three Piles To Keep, Donate or Discard

The easiest way to start the decluttering process in a room is to make three piles, one to keep, one to donate, and one to discard in the trash. You may change your mind a number of times for some items.

Kitchens Need Special Decluttering

Spices lose their potency after a number of years, so it’s best to throw out old bottles and refresh your collection with new bottles. You may also have a number of old pots and pans, bowls and utensils that you don’t use, but haven’t thrown out. This is a good time to discard them if they have outlived their usefulness.

Putting Out A Call To Friends and Family

After you have determined which items to keep, you may want to let your family and friends know about items that they may want. Furniture you want to discard, clothing that you won’t use, kitchen items and sports equipment are the kind of things other people may be able to use.

Distribute Donated Items Immediately

You may need to make a number of trips to your local Goodwill or charity to donate the items you no longer need. Make sure you know their hours and what types of items they accept for donation.

Dealing With Sentimental Items

One of the hardest parts of decluttering is letting go of items that have special emotional meaning. In some cases, you can just cut off a piece of the sentimental item to keep in a special memory box. In other cases, taking a photo of the piece and discarding may be enough to keep the memory alive.

When sorting through items in preparation for a move, you may not always be sure about the decisions you’re making to discard familiar items. That feeling of uncertainty can often reflect your nervousness about moving to a new place and starting a new life.

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What Are the Types of Dental Crowns?




Dental crowns are versatile restorations used to protect and restore damaged or weakened teeth. They can improve both the function and aesthetics of a tooth, providing strength and durability. 

When considering dental crowns, it’s essential to understand the different types available and their unique characteristics. In this blog post, we will explore the most common types of dental crowns and their benefits.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns are a popular choice due to their natural appearance and ability to blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. 

They are crafted to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, making them virtually indistinguishable. Porcelain crowns are an excellent option for front teeth or visible areas of the mouth, as they provide a beautiful and natural-looking restoration.

Ceramic Crowns

Ceramic crowns share similar aesthetic qualities with porcelain crowns, offering excellent natural-looking results. They are highly durable and resistant to wear, making them suitable for both front and back teeth. 

Ceramic crowns are metal-free, making them an ideal choice for individuals with metal allergies or sensitivities. They are an excellent option for those seeking a durable and aesthetically pleasing dental restoration.

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns, typically made of gold or other precious or non-precious alloys, are known for their strength and longevity. They are highly resistant to wear and fractures, making them a suitable choice for molars and teeth that endure significant biting forces. 

Metal crowns are less prone to chipping or breaking and require less removal of the natural tooth structure during preparation. While they may not match the natural tooth color, metal crowns are often recommended for their durability and longevity.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns combine the strength of a metal substructure with the natural appearance of porcelain. They have a metal base that provides durability and stability, while the porcelain overlay gives a lifelike appearance. 

PFM crowns are versatile and can be used in both the front and back teeth. However, over time, the metal base may become slightly visible at the gum line, particularly if there is gum recession.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are known for their exceptional strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. They are made from a high-quality ceramic material called zirconia oxide, which is incredibly strong and resistant to fractures. 

Zirconia crowns offer excellent aesthetics, mimicking the natural tooth color and translucency. They are a popular choice for both front and back teeth due to their strength and natural-looking results.

The Bottom Line

Dental crowns come in various materials, each with its unique advantages and considerations. Porcelain crowns and ceramic crowns are excellent choices for achieving natural-looking results, while metal crowns provide durability and longevity. 

When deciding on the type of dental crown, it’s important to consider factors such as the location of the tooth, aesthetic preferences, durability requirements, and budget. Your dentist will assess your specific needs and guide you in selecting the most suitable dental crown to restore your smile and improve the function of your teeth.

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