NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

NC Supreme Court denies emergency appeal to disburse school voucher funds

3 hours 23 min ago
The N.C. Supreme Court denied an emergency motion filed last week by attorneys on behalf of Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate leader Phil Berger and parents to allow taxpayer-funded school vouchers, ruled unconstitutional by a Superior Court judge last month, to be disbursed to private schools immediately while the fate of the program is decided.  The defendant-intervenors pushing to ...

State of Working NC: African-American labor force resiliency

3 hours 52 min ago
Each year on Labor Day our State of Working North Carolina report details the economic conditions and trends that face North Carolina’s workers.  This year, in addition to focusing on these conditions and trends today, we also delved deeper how the current lack of jobs and the growth of low-wage jobs will impact the state’s ...

Now there are six

4 hours 54 min ago
After more than 20 years on the state Supreme Court, Chief Justice Sarah Parker stepped down on Saturday, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 72 in August. Her picture has already been removed from the court’s website, with one of the newly-appointed temporary chief, Justice Mark Martin, taking its place. Her legacy drew praise ...

Charlotte Moral Monday Labor Day rally leads to controversial arrest of leafleter

6 hours 5 min ago
North Carolina news media haven’t reported much about an arrest by Charlotte police that took place late yesterday during the Moral Monday/#TalkUnion Labor Day rally that took place in the city’s Marshall Park. Think Progress, however, has quite a few details plus video in this story: “Police Arrest Young Black Politician for Distributing Voting Rights ...

Durham Public Schools dumps Teach for America

10 hours 1 min ago
As reported in the Durham Herald Sun and The Washington Post, the Durham school board voted last week not to keep its relationship with Teach for America (TFA) beyond the 2015-16 school year, allowing the school system’s current TFA teachers to finish out their contracts. According to the Durham Herald Sun: Among concerns voiced by ...

No break in tension between McCrory and Senate leaders

10 hours 25 min ago
In case you are wondering if the animosity between Governor Pat McCrory and Senate leaders has lessened since the legislative session adjourned, the answer seems to be no, judging by comments at this weekend’s apple festival in Hendersonville. McCrory rode in the King Apple Parade Monday and told the Times-News that he was still upset about ...

Editorial reminds us of an obvious but underfunded tactic for keeping kids in school

11 hours 32 min ago
With all of the incessant battles over testing and standards and privatization, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees when it comes to public education. Fortunately, a recent New York Times op-ed that was republished in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer serves to remind us of what’s really ...

Five things to have on your radar this week

13 hours 36 min ago
Senator Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis square off – On Wednesday, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation hosts the first debate in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race featuring incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D) and Speaker of the NC House Thom Tillis (R). The 7:00 p.m. debate will be aired live, statewide and ...

Labor Day marked by Moral Monday tour, new “State of Working North Carolina” report

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 10:16
About a hundred people gathered next to the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in downtown Raleigh this morning for a rally/press conference to help kick off a three-stop “#TalkUnion” tour that is being by state union and civil rights leaders. The tour will also feature a noon event in Greensboro at the Beloved Community Center at 417 ...

Observing the Labor Sabbath This Weekend

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 08:16
Many North Carolina congregations are observing a Labor Sabbath prior to Labor Day. MaryBe McMillan of the NC State AFL-CIO, joins us this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon,  to explain the importance of having people of faith talk about unions and workers’ rights. Click below to hear part of that interview, or ...

Berger makes long-awaited appointments to Common Core review commission

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:57
Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) is the first to publicly announce his appointments to a legislative commission that will review and make recommendations for modifying the Common Core State Standards. Berger’s appointments include a retired math professor recommended by the John Locke Foundation and a Winston-Salem/Forsyth school board member who has a “self-guided education in ...

Inevitability: Medicaid expansion and marriage equality both making slow but sure progress

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:01
Doesn’t it seem that the nation’s progress and momentum in implementing the Affordable Care Act (and, in particular, Medicaid expansion) is starting to resemble the slow but steady (and inevitable) progress on marriage equality? Talking Points Memo has the story today of the latest conservative state to be talking openly of a plan to expand ...

Little things can make big differences in children’s lives

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:16
This is part of a Back to School blog series that highlight various issues to be aware of as the 2014-15 school year kicks off. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4) Little things can make big differences in children’s lives. Something as simple as arriving to class with food in your ...

A North Carolina teacher weighs in on the reality of Common Core repeal

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:00
The following essay was submitted to NC Policy Watch this week by a concerned public school teacher. North Carolina teachers and the Common Core: Now what? By Rod Powell It’s already here—a new school year. Despite a turbulent summer for North Carolina schools—in which legislators repealed the Common Core, slashed teacher assistant funding, and implemented ...

Editorial: Mandatory judicial retirement policy should be retired

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 08:03
Raleigh’s News & Observer has re-posted an editorial this morning that recently ran in its McClatchy sibling in Charlotte that deserves to be spread far and wide. It’s central message: North Carolina’s law mandating that judges retire at age 72 (the one that force current Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker to retire this weekend) is ...

Back to School Series – Registration

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:06
This is part of a Back to School blog series that highlights various issues to be aware of as the 2014-15 school year kicks off. (See Parts 1, 2, and 3). Schools opened their doors this week to the state’s more than 1.5 million children for the beginning of a new school year, but there ...

State Board of Ed chair directs NC charter schools to disclose all employee salaries by September 30

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 16:24
Just weeks after passage of a bill that allows publicly-funded charter schools to hide the salaries of their for-profit education management companies’ employees, State Board of Education chair Bill Cobey requested all charter school boards to disclose the salaries of their for-profit operators by September 30, or face the possibility of being shut down. In ...

Sen. Bernie Sanders: It’s time focus on jobs that pay a living wage (video)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:30
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) doesn’t want to spend much time focused on all the speculation about whether he’ll make a run for the White House in 2016.  As we approach Labor Day, the 72-year-old wants to talk about the jobs deficit and stagnant wages. The longest-serving Independent in Congressional history was in Raleigh this ...

It’s amazing that this is still going on in modern America

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:02
If you missed it this morning, be sure to take a few minutes to read this morning’s lead story over on the main Policy Watch site: “Twenty-first Century children, Nineteenth Century laws.” The article features a powerful interview with a young woman who describes the pain and hardship she endured for years as a child ...

Today’s LOL, right-wing fracking propaganda

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:00
The folks in the right-wing think tanks seem to be getting less and less circumspect when it comes to blatantly repackaging the  propaganda and poll-tested talking points of polluters and other corporate scofflaws as “research.” Take for instance the report distributed by the Locke Foundation this morning in a press release headlined:  “Fracking fluid consists ...

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