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Updated: 1 hour 54 min ago

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 ...

Vermont senator delivers progressive economic message on trip to Raleigh

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:00
There’s been a lot of talk that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will run for President in 2015-’16, but last night’s speech at Pullen Church in Raleigh before a friendly crowd of a few hundred people was all about policy. Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist who will turn 72 in a couple of weeks, devoted ...

ICYMI: The state of the U.S. Supreme Court (Full Video)

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:07
For those who missed last week’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation with Ian Millhiser, the full program is now available online. Please watch and then share – The state of the U.S. Supreme Court with Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress:

NC Commerce: More money needed to bring jobs to state

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 15:36
The McCrory administration is looking to bolster North Carolina’s economy as it undergoes major changes in how it will recruit new employers to the state. In a final meeting for the state’s economic development board, N.C. Commerce Sec. Sharon Decker told members Wednesday that she’s hoping to figure out a way to continue to attract ...

Today’s amazing inequality statistics

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 15:34
These come from a recent University of California Alumni Association profile of economist Emmanuel Saez and his work that was linked to by the excellent online newsletter Too Much: The top 1 percenters in the United States, for example, have seen their share of national income rise from under 8 percent in 1970 to just under ...

Nip and tuck: Leadership’s financing strategy for public education

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 14:13
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 and Part 2) This week, more than 1.5 million North Carolina’s students headed back to school to underfunded classrooms this week. For yet another school year, teachers ...

Still think we should be executing people? NC to free another wrongfully convicted person after 20 years

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:50
In case you missed it, North Carolina is about to release yet another person who spent two decades in state prison for crimes he did not commit — thus further highlighting the absurdity of the death penalty in the 21st Century. This is from a post on the N.C. Innocence Project blog: On Monday, a ...

Thousands petition Governor to stop defending North Carolina’s gay marriage ban

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 09:51
Equality NC, same-sex couples and families delivered over 10,600 petitions to the Raleigh and regional offices of Governor Pat McCrory this morning, urging him to stop defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban. “We are proud to deliver this important message alongside families from all across the state who are demanding Gov. McCrory not waste one ...

Editorial highlights the miracle of public education

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 08:33
There’s a great editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning that ought to be mandatory reading for every critic of our public schools — especially the ones who want to de-fund them and turn their mission over to the the “genius of the free market.” The piece is entitled “Don’t take public education for ...