NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 26 min ago

House Democrats move to use lottery funds to help pay teachers’ loans

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 10:22
In February, we reported the startling number that students seeking education degrees in the UNC system had plunged by about 30 percent since 2010, just the latest evidence that the profession is growing increasingly unattractive to prospective teachers. This week, a handful of state House Democrats have filed legislation they say should help to provide at ...

Gov. McCrory makes up his own facts in lame defense of HB2

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:20
Gov. Pat McCrory is acting more and more like a desperate politician, trying everything to escape responsibility for HB2, the sweeping anti-LGBT law he signed in March that prompted corporations to cancel plans to create jobs in North Carolina and cost the state millions in lost tourism revenue. McCrory has lashed out at the media, ...

Missed Opportunities: Investments that are MIA in Governor McCrory’s budget

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 15:50
Deep tax cuts are preventing Gov. McCrory from proposing a bold, visionary state budget for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year. The 2013 and 2015 tax cuts are draining more than $1 billion in revenues annually, squeezing out much-needed reinvestment in the programs and services that help children, families, and communities thrive. Under his budget, North ...

HB2, the tourism industry, and the “more progressive state of South Carolina”

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 14:01
While Gov. Pat McCrory continues to attack opponents of HB2 and blame the media for how it is covering the damage caused by his anti-LGBT law, leaders in the tourism industry in North Carolina have a clear message for McCrory and the General Assembly—repeal the law that is hurting their businesses. The Lumina News reports that ...

On National Teacher Appreciation Day, educators and lawmakers call for raises, big reforms in NC

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:36
N.C. Sen. Dan Blue, the Democratic leader in the Senate, remembers Dorothy Washington, his high school English teacher and an educator in his former home in Robeson County for a half-century. Rep. Graig Meyer, a Democrat from Orange County, still keeps an aging, brass school bell on his legislative desk to remind him of one ...

Advocates for Merrick Garland nomination holding “Do Your Job” tour to push Burr, Tillis

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 07:37
In case you missed it, advocates at Progress NC will be helping to spearhead a series of events around the state this week to combat the ongoing blockade by Senators Burr and Tillis of the nomination of federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court. As is explored in some detail ...

With local school districts battling for funding, one Iowa district promises to break the law

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:37
Here’s a fascinating report Monday from Education Week, which tells the story of one Iowa school district’s surprising response to apparently insufficient state funding. According to the paper, the Davenport Community Schools district says that it may be forced to break state law in order to fill in budget gaps, gaps wrought, according to the district’s superintendent, ...

McCrory’s teacher pay proposal fails on retention goals

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:17
In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought I’d focus my first blog post on the most obvious way North Carolina shows its appreciation (or lack thereof) for teachers:  the North Carolina teacher salary schedule.  In particular, let’s take a closer look at Governor McCrory’s 2016-17 Proposed Teacher Salary Schedule. On the positive side, ...

U.S. Secretary of Education labels HB2 “hateful” as pressure mounts for repeal (video)

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 14:54
U.S.  Education Secretary John Kelly is the latest high-profile figure to weigh-in on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law known as HB2. Speaking to a group of education reporters in Boston on Monday, King said the legislation deserved to be repealed: “They are hateful laws and should be repealed,” King told the Education Writers Association conference in ...

Senator cites secret conference calls about HB2 to defend rushed special session

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 14:45
Given the national firestorm about the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2 signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, many local papers are checking in with their legislators who voted for it to see if they are having second thoughts. The folks representing Wilkes County don’t seem to regret their support of the law that has cost the state ...

The truth about the Governor’s proposed “Medicaid expansion”

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 09:30
There’s been a lot of talk of late emanating from the McCrory administration about “expanding Medicaid.” Unfortunately, a close look at the fine print makes clear that the minor proposed “expansion” has absolutely nothing to do with closing the state’s massive Medicaid coverage gap that has resulted from our failure to expand the program under ...

Six things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 09:25
 #1 – Budget work begins this week – Starting Tuesday morning multiple House Appropriations Subcommittees will begin reviewing Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget, available resources and the state’s needs. The good folks at the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center have done a thorough review of Gov.  McCrory’s spending plan and it’s well worth a ...

Weekend editorials: Criticism of HB2 referendum idea piles up

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:30
Two more of the state’s major newspapers weighed in against the idea floated by some state lawmakers last week of putting HB2 on the November ballot. The editorials in the Wilmington Star-News and the Greensboro News & Record come on top of another one that blasted the plan in last Thursday’s edition of Raleigh’s News ...

Governor McCrory still spinning economic record, using economic measure that is out of touch with reality

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 15:10
Governor McCrory is at it again, peddling the myth that his team made North Carolina’s economy the best in the country. On Thursday, the administration trumpeted the glad tidings that North Carolina’s gross domestic product (GPD) grew faster than any other state since he took office. If that sounds out of touch, it is. Wages ...

The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 13:00
1. Why McCrory and Berger have already lost the debate over HB2 Regardless of what happens in the new legislative session, North Carolina’s “brand” is badly damaged for the foreseeable future It’s funny how politics and policy debates work. For five years, politicians with a destructive and reactionary agenda have been taking a wrecking ball ...

HB2 update: Guv flummoxed in Fox interview; Berger letter gets truth edits; N&R sportswriter says McCrory must “stand up”

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 09:44
If anything, the news surrounding North Carolina’s troubled LGBT discrimination law, HB2. has only grown in intensity this week. Here are three items  from just the last few hours: #1 – Pat McCrory went on Fox News last night to defend the law but found himself getting raked over the coals by host Megyn Kelly. ...

President nominates veteran state court judge to federal bench; Burr (surprise!) will block

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 08:09
Ho hum. Another day in which President Obama nominates a respected and highly qualified jurist to the federal bench; another day in which North Carolina’s senior senator makes himself look foolish in announcing he will block the nomination. And, of course, the fact that she would be the first person of color to serve as ...

Many communities still struggling, according to latest employment data

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 15:14
State leaders should not lose sight of the fact that many communities across the state are still struggling to erase the damage left by the Great Recession. While parts of the state have long-since surpassed their pre-recession economic peaks, more than half of the counties in the state still have fewer jobs than they did ...

Major education nonprofit, North Carolina New Schools, to close, WRAL reports

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 14:52
Surprising news from WRAL today about a theoretically well-funded education nonprofit that is shutting its doors.  The news station reports that North Carolina New Schools, a group that helps to train teachers and administrators across the state, will be closing, although no reason was provided. From WRAL: A spokeswoman for the group said it is a ...

No more March madness in NC? Sure looks like it after NCAA adopts new nondiscrimination rule

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 13:37
The good folks at Think Progress have even more bad news for the state of North Carolina in the ongoing wake of HB2: On Wednesday, the NCAA Board of Governors adopted a new requirement: Sites bidding on NCAA events must demonstrate that they will provide a safe environment, free of discrimination. The directive could have ...

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