NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago

Richard Burr “blue slip” watch: Day 264

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 11:00

Okay — this is getting ridiculous. It’s now been 264 days since President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker  to become the first African-American judge in the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North … Read More...

Parents are deeply unhappy with changes to North Carolina’s public schools

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 10:32

More than 94 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by researchers at UNC-Wilmington said that they felt public education in North Carolina is headed in the wrong direction and overwhelmingly trusted teachers and administrators — not lawmakers — to make … Read More...

Editorial: McCrory, Skvarla need to make Duke clean up its mess now

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 08:36

An editorial in Sunday’s edition of the Fayetteville Observer says that now is no time for the state of North Carolina to ease the pressure on Duke Energy:

“The Southern Environmental Law Center sued in 2012 over the failure of


DHHS: No cost estimate for closing ENC early intervention offices that help disabled babies, toddlers

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 16:01

Budget cuts were the main impetus for a decision last month by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to shut down three Eastern North Carolina offices that provide services and screen infants and toddlers at risk of developmental … Read More...

The Tar Heel state is not broke, and let’s not forget decisions made in 2013

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 16:01

“We can’t afford it.” This is the prevailing refrain of state leaders nowadays in their efforts to explain away or rationalize their waning support for investing in North Carolina’s future.

Whether the issue is pay raises for K-12 teachers … Read More...

Buncombe County passes resolution rejecting teacher contracts

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:12

Last night, Buncombe County joined a growing list of school districts that have passed resolutions rejecting the state’s new teacher contract system, which awards 4-year contracts to the top 25% of teachers (how those teachers are chosen is unclear) in … Read More...

Remembering Sen. Martin Nesbitt’s legacy, dedication to North Carolina

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:02

Former Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt is being remembered by colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a dedicated public servant and a courageous voice for North Carolinians. The Buncombe County lawmaker passed away Thursday evening at age 67, … Read More...

Editorial calls on McCrory to stand up to Pope

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 08:57

This morning’s Winston-Salem Journal lays it out pretty clearly in an editorial on the matter of funding for the University of North Carolina. The paper says it is time for Gov. McCrory to stand up to his budget director … Read More...

R.I.P. Martin Nesbitt

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 21:02

There’s truly dreadful news tonight that one of the ablest members of the North Carolina General Assembly, Senator Martin Nesbitt, has died just days after announcing that he was seriously ill. It’s a grave blow to the state and … Read More...

Baker Mitchell’s charter school, Douglass Academy, receives warning for low enrollment

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 16:23

The state’s Office of Charter Schools issued a warning letter to Douglass Academy in Wilmington, whose enrollment numbers fall far short of the state’s minimum requirement of 65 — and if numbers don’t go up, the school’s charter could be … Read More...

More corporate tax cuts on horizon as state leaders look for funding for teacher pay raises

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:22

Last year state leaders passed a tax plan that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations. The plan does little to rid the tax code of costly tax loopholes, it makes the state’s upside-down tax system even worse, and … Read More...

Breaking: Court orders Duke Energy to eliminate sources of groundwater contamination at coal plants immediately

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 13:13

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway ruled today that Duke Energy must take immediate action to eliminate the sources of groundwater contamination that are currently violating water quality standards at all 14 of its coal-fired power plants in North … Read More...

Lunch Links: Justice and Injustice

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:56

We open today’s Lunch Links with an important public service announcement, particularly in light of the report out this week showing North Carolina still woefully behind other states in providing legal assistance to those who can’t afford an attorney — … Read More...

AP: Alamance sheriff’s deputies shared links to racist video game

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:33

The Associated Press had this report yesterday about Alamance sheriff’s deputies sharing links to a violent video game that encourages players to shoot people crossing into the country illegally.

The Alamance County sheriff’s office, located northwest of Raleigh, is under … Read More...

Durham school board joins Guilford in suing the state over teacher tenure

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:35

The Durham News reports that the Durham school board voted yesterday to join Guilford County in a lawsuit challenging the new teacher contract system and the dissolution of teacher tenure, also known as career status:

Durham school board Chairwoman Heidi


Still the pits: Why cherry-picked jobs data are not a true reflection of NC economy

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:06

Crossposted on NC Policy Watch

Over the past few months, Governor McCrory has been claiming his policies—especially cutting unemployment benefits—are responsible for reducing the state’s unemployment rate. He’s even branded this the “Carolina Comeback.” But as it turns out, the … Read More...

Guv calls for “long-term strategy” on teacher pay that he and his allies have long helped to sabotage

Thu, 03/06/2014 - 09:10

Let’s hope Gov. Pat McCrory’s latest statements on teacher pay (namely that he wants a “long-term strategy” that will lead to pay hikes for all teachers in both K-12 and higher education) reflect an attitude and policy shift for the … Read More...

Prosperity Watch: Hard work fails to pay off for North Carolina’s workers

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 16:41

At the heart of the American Dream is the idea that hard work is supposed to pay off—that anyone who works a full time job should be able to make ends and achieve upward mobility over the course of their … Read More...

In North Carolina, work to do in providing access to justice for those in need

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 15:03

When it comes to providing access to justice for the state’s most vulnerable residents, North Carolina ranks slightly above-average, according to The Justice Index, a new report from the National Center for Access to Justice at Cardozo Law School … Read More...

Talking ACA and Medicaid in Marion, NC

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:00

Monday night this week we had a great educational forum in Marion, NC on giving details of the Affordable Care Act in NC and the opportunity for expanding Medicaid to fill the coverage gap for low income people in our … Read More...