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Darts & laurels: A new school, summer learning and health care

Laurels to plans for the new elementary school in the western part of Rowan County. It’s good to see the county and the school system make progress on this front, since the idea first surfaced in 2008. The school will replace and consolidate old school buildings in Woodleaf and Cleveland. Though opening day is at least a year away, the school already has a principal, Kristine Wolfe, who will work at both Woodleaf and Cleveland until then.

In 2015-16, the two schools had combined enrollment of around 650; the new $27.8 million facility will have a core capacity of about 800. County commissioners OK’d proceeding with a loan without trying to micromanage the project, a pleasant change from years gone by. This is going to happen.

Laurels to the Rowan County Literacy Council for extending its reach beyond tutoring adults — and to the Salisbury Housing Authority for partnering with the council to make it happen. The initiative is new this summer and well worth expanding. Once or twice a week, after children at two housing authority sites finish a lunch provided by the school system, Literacy Council tutors give a 30-minute lesson designed to help prevent the loss of reading and writing skills. It’s a challenging proposition; the sessions attract varying numbers of children in a wide range of ages. But tutors find students are receptive. “They really want to continue to learn,” said Helen Peacock. They also, she said, seem to appreciate that someone cares enough to help them.

Dart to uncertainty over the future of health care. After years of vowing to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republican lawmakers have found consensus elusive. How did the Democrats do it? Part of the winning formula was a president who was well-versed in the details of the bill and was willing and able to debate it publicly. Let’s fix Obamacare’s flaws and get on with other business.

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