NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
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With the graying of North Carolina, a renewed focus on caregivers

4 hours 43 min ago
If you’re caring for an older parent or have ever been in the position of finding a trusted caregiver for a family member, you won’t want to miss NC Policy Watch’s upcoming Crucial Conversation. On Monday, July 20th, state Rep. Yvonne Holley and Allan Freyer, director of the Workers’ Rights Project of the North Carolina ...

WUNC: Making the leap from textbooks to digital not so easy in NC

6 hours 7 min ago
WUNC’s Reema Khrais reports that North Carolina’s support for classroom textbooks has dwindled to rock bottom—and while you might figure that students would instead have access to comparable educational materials in the digital world, making that transition is not happening very quickly and comes at a steep cost. Schools don’t have the money to buy books, ...

UNC asks court to stay affirmative action case pending U.S. Supreme Court review of similar Texas challenge

6 hours 56 min ago
Attorneys for the University of North Carolina have asked U.S. District Judge Loretta C. Biggs in Winston-Salem to stay proceedings in the case challenging its admissions policies pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court of an affirmative action case out of Texas, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. How the high court rules next term in Fisher will have some ...

Former state Rep. LaRoque finds out sentence – probation or prison – tomorrow

8 hours 32 min ago
Stephen LaRoque will find out his fate tomorrow, as a federal judge decides whether he should spend time in prison for stealing  $300,000 from a federally-funded non-profit. LaRoque, a former Republican state representative from Kinston who served in a leadership position, plead guilty earlier this year to the theft, shortly before a second trial was ...

Editorial: Senate’s budget proposals will make schools worse

9 hours 13 min ago
Legislators hoping to enjoy a few days of R&R this week may find a less than warm homecoming from local educators in their districts. The Wilmington Star News writes in a Tuesday editorial: Teachers, it seems as if some North Carolina legislators really want you to move to another state. The state Senate’s budget plan ...

Vacationing Senator Tillman not worried about budget uncertainty at schools

13 hours 3 min ago
Senator Jerry Tillman and the rest of the General Assembly are on vacation this week even though they have not finished their most important task of the summer, passing a state budget for the next two years. The delay is causing problems for school districts across the state as local education officials don’t know how ...

State Board of Education proposes interagency advisory panel to seek solutions for educating at-risk students

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 15:37
In response to a recent order stemming from a 20+ year old court case that requires all North Carolinian children to have access to a sound basic education, the State Board of Education submitted a plan with the court last week to address how it will ensure all students succeed academically — and that proposal includes ...

The latest CEO pay outrages

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 14:20
The good folks at Inequality.org are out with the latest edition of Too Much Online and it includes a wellspring of damning new stats and findings about runaway CEO pay and the gaps between the super-rich and everyone else. The latest issue also feature a new and disturbing infographic on CEO compensation. Scroll down to ...

UNC Poverty Center shuts down, but work continues on at new group

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 09:25
The University of North Carolina’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, in order to comply with a February decision by the university’s system governing board, shut its doors last week. The privately-funded center based out of the Chapel Hill law school, UNC Board of Governor Chairman John Fennebresque explained in an editorial, “was unable to ...

Not so fast on a dismissal of the state voter ID case, law’s challengers say

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 08:53
The parties challenging the voter ID provisions of the state’s 2013 election law changes in state court have asked the judge to put the case on hold until after the 2016 presidential primary, saying that only then will the merits of the recently adopted “reasonable impediment” process for voters lacking a photo ID be established. ...

As state lawmakers question the value of driver’s ed, locals raise a red flag

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 08:30
North Carolina legislators won’t resume budget talks for another week, but it’s clear locals officials are worried about public safety if the final spending package fails to fund driver’s education programs at our schools. The Asheville Citizen Times reports local school leaders acknowledge the need for the program, but can no longer absorb the costs ...

The real threat to NC beaches is not sharks

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 07:32
In the aftermath of the troubling shark attacks that have plagued North Carolina beaches this summer, there’s been a natural tendency to worry about the economic impact — both short and long-term — on the beach tourism economy. Bloody, weekly attacks by wild animals are not exactly what you call good publicity. As Ned Barnett ...

The least the NRA could do

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 07:45
As yesterday’s panic at a shopping mall in Fayetteville makes clear, average Americans are rightfully terrified at the idea of people openly walking around carrying guns in public venues of this kind. They do no want it and it clearly needs to be unlawful throughout the United States. Moreover, a completely clear and permanent ban ...

Largely run by for-profit corporations, Ohio’s charter schools misspend tax dollars—and lawmakers are letting it continue

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 15:20
Ohio’s charter schools—many of which are run by for-profit education management corporations—are notorious for misspending tax dollars and producing poor academic results. Lawmakers there had a chance to do something about it this summer by passing legislation that would strengthen charter school oversight—but that legislation ultimately failed. From The Washington Post: What happened? The bill — which, ...

North Carolina’s health advocacy community has lost a friend

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:29
At task force or committee meetings there is sometimes a strategy guiding where you sit. If an important legislator is in the room, for example, people will try to sidle up next to him or her to influence the policymaker’s thinking. As stakeholders gathered at the North Carolina Institute of Medicine for a seemingly endless ...

Sexual harassment case is a powerful reminder of why we need fair housing laws

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:14
In one of the myriad unexplained “special provisions” buried deep in the its version of the 2016-17 budget, the North Carolina Senate takes the remarkable and destructive step of repealing the state Fair Housing Act. As Sarah Ovaska-Few reported last week: “The provision, which would repeal the State Fair Housing Act and shut down the ...

Editorial roundup: Driver’s ed, SCOTUS decisions, Loretta Lynch, gerrymandering and the ACA

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 08:51
Editorial writers have penned several good ones across North Carolina in recent days. This morning’s Winston-Salem Journal is on the mark when it reminds the state Senate that driver’s education should remain in the public schools. As the editorial notes: “It’s not just a matter of money, but of public safety.” In an editorial entitled ...

Amazing new stats on growth in CEO pay evidence who is winning America’s class war

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 15:20
Researchers Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis at the Economic Policy Institute released some pretty amazing new numbers today on the growth in American CEO pay over the last few decades: “Over the last several decades, inflation-adjusted CEO compensation increased from $1.5 million in 1978 to $16.3 million in 2014, or 997 percent, a rise almost ...

Still more sobering employment news for NC amidst national recovery

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 14:15
New from our colleagues at the Budget and Tax Center: Much of North Carolina has still not recovered from the Great Recession, according to the latest employment data for May. Roughly two-thirds of North Carolina’s counties have fewer people working today than before the recession, and almost a quarter of the counties in North Carolina ...

Editorial: Senate deregulation bill is “Polluter Protection Act”

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 11:40
In case you missed it, an editorial in this morning’s Fayetteville Observer rightfully blasted the state Senate’s latest outrageous effort to gut state environmental regulations: Some cynics are calling it the “Off-The-Wall Act of 2015.” Others suggest a better title might be the “Polluter Protection Act.” In both cases they’re right. And what happened to ...

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