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Why Wake's school bond issue is a win for the economy AND students

We always get a lot of election-related submissions after it's really too late to consider them for publication. Here's a piece on behalf of the four major associations representing the North Carolina design and construction community.

In support of school vouchers: A rising educational tide lifts all boats

Here's a letter from independent school leaders in support of the Opportunity Scholarship Act. It was signed by Peter T. Denton, Jr., Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill; Dr. Michael Fedewa, the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh; Coral Jeffries, New City Christian School, Asheville; Dr. Donald Larson, Brookstone Schools, Charlotte; and
Sylvia Wilson, Napoleon B. Smith Academy, Greensboro.

4 NC lawmakers explain support for school voucher bill

We have a rule against publishing Points of View submissions from elected officials, so you won't find this in the paper. But here's a look at the reasons four lawmakers – two Democrats and two Republicans – sponsored House Bill 944 or the Opportunity Scholarship Act.

Horror in Connecticut: N&O readers speak

Scores and scores of letters on the shooting deaths of 26 at a Connecticut elementary school. Here's a sampling:

Debra Goldman and Chris Malone: Readers speak on the school board saga

Some letters to the editor about Sunday's story detailing Wake County school board member Debra Goldman's suggestion to Cary police that fellow board member Chris Malone might have been the burglar who took $130,000 in jewelry,  cash and coins from her home in 2010. Malone told police the two had a relationship that was "personal and physical." Miss the story? Read it here.

Kevin Hill: Superintendent's firing was over a loss of trust, leadership style

Wake County school board Chairman Kevin Hill visited The N&O to talk on the record about the board's vote to fire superintendent Tony Tata. These are my NONVERBATIM notes. I didn't have a tape recorder. Just a laptop. One highlight: "The citizens of Wake County have to demand that the politics come out of the board. They’ve got to."

The firing of Tony Tata: Readers speak

A look at the avalanche of emotion in the community in the wake of the school board's firing of Superintendent Tony Tata:

How music can change a life

As a former marching band geek myself, I love, love, love this letter. Music is transformative. Making music available to children who have parents who can't afford to pursue it is an effort worth applauding:

As the principal at Lowe’s Grove Middle School, I want to thank Bob Moulton at National Pawn for his generous donation of over 100 instruments to the students of Durham Public Schools in general and Lowe’s Grove Middle School specifically.

Donations such as his allow students who may not be able to afford an instrument the opportunity to participate in band, and that is an invaluable tool in keeping many kids engaged in school.

I was one of those kids. My middle school principal told my parents that some kids just aren’t cut out for college and that I was not college material. Granted, I had given him much evidence to support his claim. The decisions I was making were leading me down the path of trouble and of dropping out of school.

However, the one hook that had my heart and soul was band. How could I drop out of school and give up my heart and soul? I couldn’t. Soon, my high school schedule consisted of marching band, symphonic band, jazz band and marimba band. I began playing with the city band and even played professionally in a country western band for a couple of years.

Thanks to a scholarship, my college years were also filled with band. Yes, college. You see, my middle school principal was wrong. Wrong about me and wrong to give up on me. Thankfully, neither my parents nor my band director gave up me. Nor did they allow me to give up on myself. They got me involved in band, and that was all I needed.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that band engages many kids in ways that other subjects never can. It engages their hearts and touches their souls and draws them like a magnet to school. Band keeps kids grounded behaviorally and enhances them academically, and it is the incentive many kids need to make it all the way.

So, Mr. Moulton, thank you. Thank you for providing Lowe’s Grove Middle School the means to give more kids the opportunity to participate in a program that just may keep them in school. Who knows? The kid you helped save today may be the principal of a middle school tomorrow. Thank you.
Kathy Kirkpatrick

Principal, Lowe's Grove Middle School, Durham

Back-to-school deals (July 22-28)

Even if you don't have kids, now is the time to buy pens, pencils, computer paper and other handy items that come under the broad category of school supplies.

Think about stocking up your home office or buy the ultra cheap deals and donate them to a nearby school or charity.

But do your homework! That includes reading the fine print. Some deals, especially some of those enticing free and penny deals, require a minimum purchase or involve a rebate.

Take a look at the very best of this week's deals:

A big welcome to new readers from coupon class at Campbell Law School

Thanks to all the Campbell Law School students and staff who spent their Wednesday evening with me learning about coupons, rebates and frugal living.

If this is your first time reading the blog: Welcome!

I really enjoyed meeting all of you and hope you will make the Centsible Saver blog a regular part of your day as you look for grocery deals, freebies and other tips on saving money and living a frugal lifestyle.

Look for new posts about savings opportunities seven days a week. And be sure to check in on Wednesday and Sunday mornings when I post the best sales and coupon matchups at the supermarkets and drugstsores -- all of them tailored to Triangle shoppers.

If you have a question, feel free to ask away in the comments section of the blog or shoot me an email at

If you're a social media fan, you can keep up with me on the Centsible Saver Facebook page or you can follow me on Twitter: @amygdunn.

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