The governor this week concluded her review of the bills passed by the General Assembly during the final days of session and all of them will go into law. The governor did decide to let two controversial bills – one on how to measure sea level rise and another that would take a water system from the city of Asheville and turn it over to a regional authority – go into law without her signature. She did not issue any additional vetoes.
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The high school graduation rate in North Carolina topped 80 percent for the first time in state history in 2011-12, according to the latest data from the state Department of Public Instruction. The information proves that the state’s investment in public education is paying off for our students. Just since 2006, the graduation rate has climbed nearly 12 percentage points – a 17 percent improvement. Cuts to public education during the past two years threaten our success. More than 6,000 educators – including 3,000 teachers and teacher assistants – have been fired in the past two years. More cuts are expected in many school systems this year. The loss of teachers and support staffers will mean larger classes and fewer adults in our schools to guide our children.
This is another reminder that the state’s annual sales tax holiday starts Aug. 3 and will run through Aug. 5. During the sales tax holiday, consumers will not pay sales tax on clothing, footwear, and school supplies of $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreation equipment of $50 or less per item, computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item. For more information on the sales tax holiday, including a list of exempt items and answers to frequently asked questions, go to www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/sales/salestax_holiday.html.