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Fired CEO of shuttered Charlotte charter school says he’s suing to reopen

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 16:38
The former principal of embattled Charlotte public charter school Entrepreneur High says he plans to file a complaint Friday afternoon to seek reinstatement as head of the school and the ability to reopen its doors early next week. “Yes, I plan to reopen the school,” Dr. Hans Plotseneder told N.C. Policy Watch Friday. “My termination ...

Sledge exoneration drives another nail in NC death penalty

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 14:58
Today’s exoneration of Joseph Sledge after 36 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit gives rise to one overriding question today: How many more men wrongfully convicted and imprisoned (or even sent to Death Row) is it going to take before the stubborn defenders of the death penalty in North Carolina finally ...

National group recognizes NC’s “Anti-Science Climate Deniers Caucus”

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:25
The good people at the Center for American Progress have released a new and sobering set of fact sheets documenting the abysmal state of climate change denial in Washington. Sadly, several members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are “recognized” for being on record in support of the denial efforts. The list includes: Senators Richard Burr ...

Preparing for next week’s “religious freedom” hate fest at the General Assembly

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 08:40
If you had any hopes that this year’s version of the North Carolina General Assembly would be less reactionary than the last two, these should have been quickly dashed in recent days by the announcement that the 2015 session will commence its substantive work next Wednesday with a “briefing” on a bill to sanction and ...

Getting what they played for

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 05:28
  A college education for free. That’s the response heard most often from those asked what elite Division 1 athletes are getting in exchange for working full-time for their schools. That includes the schools and the NCAA, who make millions in some cases off the backs of these players. The players get no part of ...

Tillis, Burr team-up on offshore drilling legislation (w/video)

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 20:50
North Carolina’s two U.S. Senators have introduced an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill intended to fast-track the exploration and drilling for natural gas and oil along the Atlantic coast. Senator Thom Tillis took to the Senate floor Thursday to explain the provision that he says will create thousands of jobs over the next ...

McCrory appears at economic development ribbon cutting

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 16:41
Gov. Pat McCrory was on hand Thursday for a ribbon cutting for the state’s newly privatized economic development group, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. The group, funded primarily with more than $16 million in public dollars and $500,000 in private dollars serves as the state’s “marketing and sales” with the task of luring ...

Latest Pope-Civitas attempt to smear Rev. Barber hits a new low

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 15:49
There’s a simple reason that the Pope-Civitas Institute (an organization that was founded by one of the state’s richest and most powerful men and named after his father) still struggles to be taken seriously in the North Carolina policy debate after years of effort, even in the current hard right political environment — namely, the ...

Some actual welcome news on the environment

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 11:38
Just in from the good people the N.C. Chapter of the Sierra Club: North Carolina Moves One Step Closer to Offshore Wind Development RALEIGH – Earlier today, the US Department of the Interior announced that it has released an Environmental Assessment that supports the potential lease sale for more than 300,000 acres off the coast ...

Letting Obama be Obama

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 10:32
President Obama’s popularity numbers have soared recently and it ought not to be a surprise. Despite being held back for years by the stubborn refusal of conservatives to fund an adequate stimulus effort and being far short of where it ought to be, the national economic recovery continues to advance. Better times generally produce better ...

On Roe anniversary, Renee Ellmers appears to help make anti-choice legislation less terrible

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 07:30
As Suzanne Buckley of NARAL Pro Choice NC wrote on the main Policy Watch page yesterday, today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision — a great time for people committed to freedom and women’s health to recommit themselves to the cause. And, happily, such efforts can begin with at least a modest ...

Mid-year revenue shortfall grows, official revenue outlook filled with caution and uncertainty

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:34
State revenue collections are coming in $199.2 million below projections half way through the fiscal year, according to the legislature’s non-partisan Fiscal Research Division’s new revenue outlook report. This report provides an assessment of revenue collection performance for the state on a quarterly basis. The main culprit behind the mid-year shortfall is the 2013 tax ...

Virginia moves toward repeal of A-F school grading system

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:29
Lawmakers in Virginia’s General Assembly are advancing a bipartisan effort to abolish their A-F school grading system, according to WBDJ7 in Roanoke. The A-F scale for schools was adopted in 2013 at the urging of then-Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, as a public measure of school quality based on student test scores. But the law ...

Could NC’s revenue shortfall impact teacher raises, legislators’ wish list? (w/video)

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:18
A week from today state lawmakers return to Raleigh and begin work in earnest on the 2015 “long” legislative session. House and Senate leaders have indicated teacher pay, job creation, and possibly tax reform will be back on the agenda this year. But some members are concerned that recent tax reforms may leave North Carolina ...

Top education issues to dominate 2015: standards, teacher pay and school vouchers

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:38
Standards and assessment, teacher pay and school vouchers were some of the hottest  education issues that key stakeholders predicted would dominate this year’s legislative session at a breakfast hosted Wednesday by the Public School Forum in Raleigh. Tom Campbell, host of the weekly talk show NC SPIN, held a special taping of his program at ...

Capital gains tax breaks won’t help economy, bypasses most North Carolinians

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:30
A new report released today by the Budget & Tax Center highlights how eliminating North Carolina’s taxes on capital gains would largely benefit those who need it least while making things worse for families struggling to make ends meet. Some lawmakers and outside groups in North Carolina are pushing a plan that would benefit the ...

Health insurance for 1 million North Carolinians at risk in US Supreme Court case

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:43
We have written before about King v. Burwell, the case that will be heard before the US Supreme Court to determine whether or not health insurance subsidies can flow to states that refused to establish state-based marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. As John Stewart has noted, justices would have to be more literal than ...

Justice Ginsburg explains everything you needed to know about religious liberty in two sentences

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:21
Credit Ian Millhiser of Think Progress with the excellent headline that appears above as well as the following story that appeared on the group’s website yesterday: On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Holt v. Hobbs, establishing that a Muslim inmate may grow a half-inch beard “in accordance with his religious ...

There he goes again: State Senator Tucker inserts foot in mouth once more

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:45
The last time any significant number of North Carolinians were aware of state Senator Tommy Tucker was probably a couple of years ago when the Waxhaw Republican made some incredibly arrogant statements to people trying to inform lawmakers of the truth about some controversial issues. “I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need ...

Reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:52
“There’s no denying that the country continues to make great gains.  Over the past six years, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have together delivered the longest stretch of economic and job growth in this nation’s history; made accessing health care affordable, easier, and transparent; and safeguarded the American people by enacting strong financial reforms.  However, ...

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