NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 25 min ago

Tax cuts over teacher pay raise

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:11

Rob Christensen had a great piece yesterday on just why the Governor and policymakers didn’t raise teacher pay and claim to not have the funds to do more than their modest proposal that impacts just a third of teachers. The … Read More...

Updated: US launches criminal investigation of Dan River coal ash spill

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 11:34

The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh has subpoenaed records from North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources  in connection with a criminal investigation into the massive coal ash spill on the Dan River, the subject of our recent posts yesterday and todayRead More...

Businesswoman explains giant flaw in proposed teacher pay plan

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:32

Occasional NC Policy Watch contributor and Asheville communications consultant Betsey Russell sent us the following essay about her experience with business plans (like the one advanced by Gov. McCrory this week) that target pay raises for junior employees at … Read More...

Must reads! Must watch! Must attend!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:00

North Carolina’s wintery blast may be dominating local news coverage, but it’s far from the only environmental story that needs to be on your radar this week.

Make time today to read Policy Watch reporter Sharon McCloskey’s latest piece -  … Read More...

A day to get up to speed on Duke’s coal ash disaster

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 09:43

Stuck inside with nowhere to go on a wintry day? We’ve got lots of information for you to get fully up to speed on Duke’s Dan River coal ash disaster today.

First is Courts and Law Reporter Sharon McCloskey’s excellent Read More...

Latest Prosperity Watch: Metro areas still waiting for jobs comeback

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 13:41

Despite all the claims we keep hearing about the state’s supposedly miraculous economic recovery, too many regions across the state are still waiting for the recovery to happen.  The latest issue of Prosperity Watch digs into unemployment and job creation … Read More...

Public records, at a cost, under McCrory Administration policy

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 13:40

The Carolina Public Press has this piece up boiling down the ongoing issues media outlets in the state have with a new policy under the McCrory administration to charge “special services charges” for public records requests that take more than … Read More...

Economy failing to deliver for working single mothers

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:06

In another sign of an economy that is failing to provide for working families, the share of female-headed working families considered low- income is increasing nationwide. There are now 4.1 million low-income families headed by working mothers in the United … Read More...

Lunch Links

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 10:56

By the time you read this, you should be all stocked up on the necessary ice storm essentials: batteries, flashlights, water, non-perishable food items, and board games. (Might I recommend a favorite: The Settlers of Catan.)

If you manage …

More on morality and the Moral March

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 09:47

The following essay was submitted to NC Policy Watch by the Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, a national organization based in Washington, DC that is dedicated to “advancing faith in the public square as a … Read More...

Guilford County School Board rejects law abolishing teacher tenure, will sue the state

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 07:14

Greensboro’s News & Record reports that members of the Guilford County School Board voted unanimously last night to reject the state’s new law that would abolish teacher tenure and require school districts to offer teachers temporary contracts, calling into question … Read More...

Coming storm reminds us of need for public structures and services

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 07:03

There was a great cartoon in the New Yorker magazine a couple of years back in which a man whose house is on fire stands next to it with a bucket in his hand, waving away arriving firefighters and saying … Read More...

Major newspapers agree: Teacher pay plan is insufficient

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 15:35

Editorials from North Carolina’s major newspapers are starting to come in on the Governor’s plan to raise pay for about a third of the state’s teachers. Here are four:

The Greensboro News & Record:

“Why show respect for just


Fourth Circuit rules “Choose Life” license plate law is unconstitutional

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 12:35

A unanimous panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the state could not offer  a “Choose Life” license plate without also offering  an alternative plate with a message supporting reproductive freedom.

The key question before the

Lunch Links: Teacher pay plan disappoints, coal ash concerns, and curling!

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:59

Reaction continues to roll-in to Governor Pat McCrory’s plan to raise the pay of staring teachers. The editorial board of the Charlotte Observer calls the proposal insufficient:

In fact, if all the state does is boost starting teacher pay, most


McCrory’s amazing admission

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:20

Maybe it’s the ongoing game of musical chairs in Gov. Pat McCrory’s communications staff or maybe it’s just the man himself, but whatever it is, the Governor’s public pronouncements continue to be peppered with admissions and allegations that bespeak a … Read More...

DHHS Sec. Wos says USDA deadline met and most of food stamps backlog gone

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:45

N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos announced at a legislative hearing this morning that her department met a federal deadline yesterday to clear a backlog of families waiting for emergency food assistance.

Wos told lawmakers that “Herculean efforts” …

School shootings and the U.S. Supreme Court

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:06

In case you missed it, there was a school shooting in Salisbury yesterday.

According to this report, 16-year-old Shaleek Williams was shot outside the Salisbury High School gym after school in the midst of a fight between two groups. … Read More...

Wall Street Journal article exposes folly of not expanding Medicaid

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 09:08

In case you missed it yesterday, the Wall Street Journal featured a powerful article on the terrible toll that is resulting from the failure of 25 states (including North Carolina) to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The article … Read More...

Mecklenburg GOP volunteer gone after racist Moral Monday tweet

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 14:58

The Mecklenburg County GOP chairperson dismissed a party volunteer Sunday who tweeted a racially-charged comment about the state NAACP director under the political party’s account.

The tweet at 8:48 p.m. Sunday under the political party’s @meckgop account included a picture … Read More...