NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

Breaking: Fourth Circuit orders stay of key voting changes

2 hours 52 min ago
Saying that the right to vote is fundamental, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today ordered the federal district court in Greensboro to stay provisions of the state’s recently enacted voting changes which eliminated same-day registration and prohibited the counting of out-of-precinct provisional ballots. In a  2-1 decision joined by U.S. Judge Henry Floyd, U.S. District Judge ...

California enacts two common sense anti-gun violence laws

3 hours 46 min ago
The website Governing has the basics: Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Tuesday written in response to gun tragedies that shook up Northern California: the Isla Vista shooting rampage by a UC Santa Barbara student and the Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy shooting of a boy with a toy gun. One new law will allow family ...

Baker Mitchell fails to disclose salaries of his for-profit charter school employees to the state, risking schools’ closure

5 hours 19 min ago
Roger Bacon Academy, the private, for-profit education management organization (EMO) that runs four public charter schools in eastern North Carolina and is headed by prominent charter school advocate Baker Mitchell Jr., appears to have failed to comply with a state-imposed September 30 deadline requiring public charter schools to disclose the taxpayer-funded salaries of any staff ...

America’s mushrooming inequality infects education

6 hours 38 min ago
In case you missed it, the Associated Press is reporting new and disturbing news (click here to see the article in the Greensboro News & Record) about the impact that the nation’s mushrooming economic divide between the rich and everyone else is having on education: Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest ...

Nuns on the Bus coming to NC

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:56
The one and only Nuns on the Bus are bringing their truly unique “get out the vote” tour to North Carolina this week. Click here to listen to NOTB Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell explain what the tour is all about. Here’s the schedule: Oct 4, 2014 (9:30 am) Civil Rights Remembrance and Call to ...

Connecting the dots in our dangerous, gun-obsessed culture

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 13:52
For a while this morning on WRAL.com, the following three headlines appeared consecutively near the top of the website: One shot at Stanly County high school Police in Albemarle report one student has been hurt and another person is in custody after a shooting at Albemarle High School. Despite clarion call, youth violence continues in ...

One in Three: North Carolina workers more likely to earn poverty-wages

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 09:25
This is the seventh post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. Previous posts examined: 1) how North Carolina is faring overall; 2) how poverty varies by race, 3) poverty by County; 4) child poverty; 5) the impact, or lack thereof, of ...

The education of Ms. Wos continues: Idea of on-the-cheap government debunked yet again

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 09:05
If there’s anything positive about placing our state under the control of right-wing politicians, it might be this: the fact that it forces at least some people to, eventually, confront the hard reality that cut rate, on-the-cheap government rarely works. This fact is apparently being slowly brought home of late to North Carolina’s embattled Secretary ...

First million in taxpayer dollars sent to voucher schools

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 08:27
The first million dollars in taxpayer-funded school vouchers have been sent to private and religious schools across North Carolina, the AP reports. From the News & Observer: The first million dollars have been sent to private and religious schools across North Carolina while an appeals court considers a judge’s ruling that a new scholarship program ...

Breaking: Supreme Court, 5-4, blocks extension of early voting in Ohio

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:15
As we posted earlier today, the justices of the Supreme Court were considering an emergency stay of lower court rulings finding Ohio voting law changes unconstitutional. That request apparently went to the full court and, as Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog notes here, was granted: With just sixteen hours before polling stations were to open in Ohio, the ...

State receives 40 applications to open new charter schools in 2016

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:36
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction received 40 applications this month to open up new charter schools in 2016, down from last year’s applicant pool of 71. N.C. Office of Charter Schools director Joel Medley acknowledged the applicant numbers are down this year. “It may be the application fee was raised from $500 to ...

Last chance to RSVP for tomorrow’s lunch on public financing and judicial elections

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 11:44
Some seats still remain for tomorrow’s Crucial Conversation luncheon - “Dirty money, dirty water: The end of judicial campaign public financing in North Carolina.” The event will feature Billy Corriher, the Director of Research for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., where his work focuses on state courts and the influence ...

Monday morning at the Supreme Court

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 10:14
The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t officially open its new term until Monday October 6, but the justices are already at work, opening this week with two items of interest:  an Ohio-based voting law challenge that’s before Justice Elena Kagan on an emergency petition for a stay, and a conference scheduled for this morning to review ...

Koch-Pope group “stands behind” its deception

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 08:31
As reported here and on several other news sites in recent days (click here and here), the conservative, win-at-all-costs ideologues over at the Koch-Pope group, Americans for Prosperity, have been distributing misleading voter registration materials in recent days. A Charlotte Observer editorial over the weekend charitably described the situation this way: With all the confusion around controversial ...

New state budget continues to underfund crucial public investments

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 16:06
This week the Budget & Tax Center released a new report on North Carolina’s 2015 fiscal year budget. While other states across the country are beginning to reverse the worst cuts made during the Great Recession, North Carolina continues to underfund crucial public investments in order to pay for tax cuts that took effect this ...

A public success story: North Carolina’s older adults are far less likely to live in poverty

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 14:35
This is the sixth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. Previous posts examined: 1) how North Carolina is faring overall; 2) how poverty varies by race, 3) poverty by County; 4) child poverty; and 5) the impact, or lack thereof, ...

Pittenger now denying he made (recorded) anti-LGBT comments

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 13:32
The story of Congressman Robert Pittenger’s clearly genuine but remarkably disturbing comments in favor of the right of employers to fire people because of their sexual orientation just keeps getting weirder. Now, Pittenger is a denying the substance of the comments that he once “stood by” and that were recorded in full. Think Progress has ...

McCrory: We’ve got too many journalists and lawyers, not enough truck drivers

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:47
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory might be getting tired of answering reporters’ questions. The governor joked that the state already has enough journalists, in comments he made yesterday at a press conference for an effort to evaluate what skills North Carolina employers need in future workers, according to this account from the Triad Business Journal. McCrory ...

Conservative group misleading voters about registration

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:07
After all the hubbub about the state’s need to snuff out and tamp down voter fraud as a reason for recent extensive changes to voting laws, it appears that fraud of another type is percolating out there, according to reports in today’s News & Observer and Daily Tarheel. As relayed by the N&O, state residents may be being duped into completing inaccurate ...

Increased investment in education, huh? Shortage of school counselors says otherwise

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 09:28
The next time someone tells you how “lavishly” North Carolina is spending on its public schools, tell them to read or listen to this story on WUNC radio entitled: “In NC Schools, There’s One Counselor for Every 400 Students.” As the story reports: [Kim] Hall has been a school counselor for 29 years. She says ...

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