Saturday News: Attack on higher ed


SENATE BUDGET CUTS EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL FUNDING: State Senate budget writers have proposed phasing out $26 million in extra funding that the early colleges receive as part of their mission of providing high school students with access to college courses. School leaders across the state are warning that the loss of the supplemental state funding means some early colleges, especially those in rural communities, won’t have enough money to stay open. “If they’re not going to have the supplemental funding, they’re going to have to scale back dramatically or not be able to continue,” said Elizabeth Yelverton, legal affairs and policy manager for the N.C. Association of School Administrators. “There’s a very good chance that a lot of schools will close without the funding.”

NC'S REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO FUND MARSY'S LAW AFTER PUSHING AMENDMENT: A constitutional amendment North Carolina voters approved last fall to protect the rights of crime victims takes effect in less than three months, but lawmakers still haven't approved funding for it or provided law enforcement any guidance to implement it. Dorer estimated at least $10 million is needed to cover increased staffing, including victim service coordinators. "Without the proper resources, I'm concerned that we're going to be stretched really thin," she said. House and Senate negotiators are still working on a compromise state budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which starts next month, but lawmakers have said privately that new money for the court system is targeted at the "Raise the Age" effort to stop prosecuting most 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, which takes effect in December. No new money is expected to address Marsy's Law, they said.

FACT-CHECKING TRUMP ON TRADE WAR NONSENSE: TRUMP: "Right now, we're getting 25% on $250 billion worth of goods. That's a lot of money that's pouring into our treasury. We've never gotten 10 cents from China. Now we're getting a lot of money from China." — remarks Monday. THE FACTS: He's incorrect. The tariffs he's raised on imports from China are primarily if not entirely a tax on U.S. consumers and businesses, not a source of significant revenue coming into the country. A study in March by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University and Princeton University, before the latest escalation, found that the public and U.S. companies were paying $3 billion a month in higher taxes from the trade dispute with China, suffering $1.4 billion a month in lost efficiency and absorbing the entire impact. It's also false that the U.S. never collected a dime in tariffs before he took action. Tariffs on goods from China are not remotely new. They are simply higher in some cases than they were before.

HEAT WAVE SPARKS UNPRECEDENTED ICE MELT IN THE ARCTIC: Ice is melting in unprecedented ways as summer approaches in the Arctic. In recent days, observations have revealed a record-challenging melt event over the Greenland ice sheet, while the extent of ice over the Arctic Ocean has never been this low in mid-June during the age of weather satellites. Greenland saw temperatures soar up to 40 degrees above normal Wednesday, while open water exists in places north of Alaska where it seldom, if ever, has in recent times. It’s “another series of extreme events consistent with the long-term trend of a warming, changing Arctic,” said Zachary Labe, a climate researcher at the University of California at Irvine. And the abnormal warmth and melting of ice in the Arctic may be messing with our weather. With all of the exposed water, ocean temperatures in this region will rise, Labe said. This should delay the customary fall freeze and will likely result in a historically low late summer sea ice minimum, typically in mid-September.

HONG KONG'S PROTESTERS SCORE VICTORY OVER EXTRADITION BILL: Backing down after days of huge street protests, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Saturday that she would indefinitely suspend a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China. It was a remarkable reversal for Mrs. Lam, the leader installed by Beijing in 2017, who had vowed to ensure the bill’s approval and tried to get it passed on an unusually short timetable, even as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against it this past week. But she made it clear that the bill was being delayed, not withdrawn outright, as protesters have demanded. “I believe that we cannot withdraw this bill, or else society will say that this bill was groundless,” Mrs. Lam said at a news conference. But leading opposition figures and protesters said a mere suspension of the bill would not satisfy the protesters, who had been planning another large demonstration for Sunday. Organizers confirmed the protest was still on.