NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Playing the numbers with teacher raises

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 15:32
State lawmakers haven’t decided if the N.C. Education Lottery will be able to double the number of ads it runs and then use proceeds from increased sales to pay for teacher raises. The House and Senate sides of the Republican-led legislature have stark differences in this year’s budget, and one of the biggest areas of ...

The McCrory-Pope economy

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:50
A new report from the experts at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center paints a sobering picture of what the new “recovered” North Carolina economy really means for average people: “North Carolina’s recovery from the Great Recession has been marked by slow job growth and persistent challenges for working families to make ends meet. The ...

New report examines, critiques NC’s weak (and archaic) campaign disclosure laws

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 12:54
This new report is just in from the watchdogs at Democracy North Carolina: “Disclosure Law Shields State Legislators, Donors As the General Assembly debates who should control the State Bureau of Investigation’s ability to probe political corruption, a new study says many state legislators are shielding themselves – and their donors – from scrutiny by ...

NC Congressmen press EPA for stricter coal ash standards

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 11:59
As state legislators work to craft a plan to address the future use and disposal of coal ash, a group of congressmen is pushing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to enact stricter standards and enforcement of the toxic substance. Congressmen G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and David Price (NC-04) write in a letter released ...

Deadline extension means more NC kids can arrive to class ready to learn

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 09:29
Local schools in North Carolina have more time to decide whether they will adopt a universal school meal program for the upcoming school year. Eligible schools now have until August 31, 2014 to decide whether to adopt community eligibility – the initial deadline was June 30, 2014. As I‘ve highlighted previously, the Community Eligibility Program ...

Charlotte radio host on lottery proposal and “downright nutty words”

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 09:01
ICYMI, Keith Larson of WBT radio in Charlotte has an entertaining post in the Charlotte Observer on the House lottery scheme entitled “Some of the nuttiest words I’ve typed in 12 years here.” As Larson notes: “House Republicans want to give teachers their raise by doubling the advertising budget for the so-called Education Lottery. Yes, I ...

McCrory refuses to endorse his own view of lottery advertising

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 07:37
Governor Pat McCrory apparently is not willing to agree publicly with himself.  The Associated Press reports that McCrory “declined to say whether he believes raising lottery advertising expenses to get more money is a good idea, saying he won’t negotiate through the press.” The House budget cynically increases the lottery advertising budget to raise more money in ...

Government and vouchers: Not what they seem

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 14:59
Today, there are several adults and children in the legislative building wearing T-shirts with the logo of Parents for Educational Freedom of North Carolina and the words “Lift the Cap on Opportunity Scholarships.” It is great when students get to see how government works. Rather than the excitement of floor debates (although, they would have ...

The Tools To Succeed

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 12:48
We use tools to fix things. Just like you’d use literal tools to improve your house, we all use metaphorical tools to improve our lives. Money is a tool. You would expect a fabulously wealthy technology executive turned venture capitalist to understand this. You might not expect said one-percenter to shout it from a media ...

How a 9-year-old experiences Common Core

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:48
The New York Times had a great story this weekend that took took readers into the life of a 9-year-old student who is experiencing the bumpy transition from old, weaker academic standards to the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards. Chrispin Alcindor is a child of Haitian immigrants attending a public school in Brooklyn who is reeling ...

Judges with daughters

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:42
It’s been widely assumed though not necessarily documented that life experiences shape a judge’s world views. And indeed that notion makes perfect sense. If you’ve walked the walk of a person on unemployment, or a person who’s endured on the job discrimination, you’ve learned a little about that experience. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ...

No consensus among Governor, Senate,

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 10:00
No consensus among Governor, Senate, and House on basic budget estimates It is normal in the budget process for the Governor, state Senate, and state House to each put forward budget proposals that lay out different visions for how best to educate our children, care for vulnerable populations, boost prosperity, and put North Carolina on ...

Environmental advocates react to Senate coal ash plan

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 09:28
A Senate committee reviewed a coal ash clean-up bill yesterday and afterwards, the experts and advocates at the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club responded with a lukewarm review: “NC Sierra Club Statement on the NC Senate’s Coal Ash Bill RALEIGH – This afternoon the NC Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources ...

Straw man loses gun battle at Supreme Court

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 14:37
Buying a gun for someone else while claiming on federal forms to be the intended owner is a crime, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 5-4 decision. “We hold that such a misrepresentation is punishable under the statute, whether or not the true buyer could have purchased the gun without the straw,” Justice Elena ...

Charter school advisory board green lights one more charter school for 2015 opening

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 13:21
Members of the N.C. Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) green lighted one more charter school to move toward opening for the 2015-16 school year, after Board members decided in April to reconsider rejected applicants and give them a second chance to make their case for opening a charter school in the state. Ignite Innovation Academy, ...

N.C. Senate leaders offer coal ash plan, environmental group says doesn’t guarantee cleanup of toxic sludge

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 12:35
State Senate leaders are unveiling their approach today to cleaning up the state’s hazardous coal-ash ponds, but a leading environmental group is already saying new legislation doesn’t go far enough. The proposal will be discussed at a 3 p.m. committee hearing in Raleigh at the N.C. General Assembly. The AP first reported last night that ...

Weather report for NC: It’s still storming

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 12:10
From the way legislators have been behaving the past two years, you would think that North Carolina’s recovery from the recession has weathered the economic storm. And yet, time after time, the evidence has shown that North Carolina continues to be far from where we need to be to declare clear and sunny days. Revenue ...

Labor leader on the power of Moral Mondays and collective action

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 11:38
With today’s Moral Monday focusing on, among other things, the rights of workers in North Carolina, be sure to check out this essay from Saturday’s Raleigh News & Observer by NC AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan. As McMillan notes: “At what cost to the residents of this state do our lawmakers and our governor do the ...

How to take out a Supreme Court justice

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 09:22
To kick off your Monday, here’s a cautionary tale from Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick about what’s happening in Tennessee judicial elections — a tale that’s unfortunately all too familiar here in North Carolina. In a reprise of what happened in that state back in 2009, three Democratically-appointed Supreme Court  justices who are up for a retention ...

House leaders knowingly passed unbalanced budget

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 08:28
The most startling story over the weekend was the revelation in a report by the News & Observer that House leaders knew that the budget they passed last week was based on flawed numbers but passed it anyway. The N.C. Education Lottery warned legislative staffers that the House’s plan to boost lottery sales by doubling ...

Pages