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The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) is now accepting Opportunity Scholarship applications for the 2015-16 school year. The deadline for firsttime and renewal applications is March 1.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program is the subject of lawsuits now pending before the North Carolina Supreme Court; the case will be heard starting on February 17. NCSEAA has been authorized to prepare for the 2015-16 school year but cannot disburse funds without further order of the Court. The Opportunity Scholarship Program provides funding of up to $4,200 per year for low-income children who choose to attend a participating nonpublic school.


After hoping to make it through the 2014-15 school year by the skin of their teeth, Macon County Schools is once again bracing for significant budget shortfall.

In 2014-15, the school district was dealt a hand that consisted of a $188,946 reduction in teacher assistant funding, an additional cost of $131,619.93 to cover the salary increase passed by the state to cover the locally paid teachers, and a salary increase of all other locally paid employees to the tune of $34,224.62. Those budget adjustments came after the school district developed the year's budget, meaning the school system had to scramble to make ends meet to account for the $354,666.52 shortfall.


Even in the military, Joshua Jones couldn’t recall a training experience quite like what he experienced while working toward his National Park Service-Seasonal Law Enforcement Training (NPS-SLET) certification this past fall at Southwestern Community College’s Public Safety Training Center.

“In the military, they were more animated and angry,” said Jones, who lives in Illinois and works at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Mo. “The first thing I noticed at SCC is that the instructors are amazing. I never had trainers that talented. Every session we went into, they brought in legitimate experts in that particular field.”


Las Vegas trips are supposed to be all about fun, and what could be more fun than placing high at a national competition?

That’s exactly what second-year students in Southwestern Community College’s respiratory therapy program accomplished Dec. 9-12 by finishing fourth in the American Association for Respiratory Care’s annual “Sputum Bowl.” It was the highest finish ever for a team representing North Carolina at the quiz-style contest, which this year included 40 teams from across the country.


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