NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

Policy Watch journalists win national award for charter school series

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:32

NC Policy Watch Reporter Sarah Ovaska and New Media Director Ricky Leung were recognized today by the Washington, DC-based Education Writers Association for their outstanding series on a troubled charter school in Winston-Salem.  The two journalists were awarded second prize … Read More...

Wake County residents appeal dismissal of school board redistricting complaint

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 14:09

Thirteen Wake County residents and two community organizations today appealed the dismissal of their lawsuit challenging the redistricting of the Wake County Board of Education districts as violative of the one-person, one-vote requirements of the United States and North Carolina … Read More...

Lunch Links: Voter fraud, the power of journalism, and an anti-fracking anthem (video)

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:34

It’s multiple-meeting-Monday, so let’s just dive right in to today’s belated Lunch Links.

First, a couple of must reads:  The Institute for Southern Studies has a fascinating look at Who’s driving North Carolina’s latest voter fraud hysteria?

Next up, many …

Who’s driving NC’s latest voter fraud hysteria?

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 09:58

(Cross-posted from Facing South, the blog of the Institute for Southern Studies)

By Chris Kromm

This week, officials at the North Carolina State Board of Elections announced they had discovered possible evidence of widespread voter fraud in the … Read More...

“Voter fraud” allegations premature

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 08:06

Be sure to check out this morning’s edition of Chris Fitzsimon’s “Monday numbers” column today in which he examines the politically-motivated rush to judgment by conservative lawmakers on the matter of recent “voter fraud” allegations. And in case you missed … Read More...

The good, the bad, and the odd about the latest Commerce privatization proposal

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 08:00

Partial privatization of the N.C. Department of Commerce took another step closer to reality yesterday when the Economic Development and Global Oversight Committee (or EDGE Committee) reported out updated enabling legislation that authorizes the establishment of a nonprofit corporation to … Read More...

NC Sierra Club to Corps of Engineers: Ditch the big eggbeaters for Jordan Lake

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 14:23

The North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club submitted comments today to the U.S. Army Corps of engineers about the idea of installing “solar bees” (i.e. big solar powered water mixers) to somehow clean up Jordan Lake rather than doing … Read More...

TGIF lunch links

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:24

In case you’ve lost count, today is Day #289 on the Richard Burr Blue Slip Watch. It’s been nearly ten months since President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker to fill what is the longest-standing vacancy in the federal … Read More...

Lawmakers consider ethics’ role in state’s economic development

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 11:59

Lawmakers are leaning towards bringing staff of North Carolina’s public-private economic development group under state ethics rules.

Members of the Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee discussed draft legislation yesterday that would bring staff of the economic … Read More...

More good health care news

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 11:15

As reported by CNBC:

“US says Medicaid enrollment jumps by 3 million under Obamacare

At least 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP programs by the end of February than before the beginning of Obamcare sign-ups,


270 Charlotte kids impacted by the genius of the market

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:16

There is another powerful example this week of why privatizing public education is a lousy idea. As has been reported by the Charlotte Observer, 270 K-8 students are being dumped from the ironically named StudentFirst Academy charter school next … Read More...

Is Duke Energy hiding behind the grand jury?

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 12:35

The parties in the civil enforcement cases against Duke Energy for coal ash clean up at the company’s Asheville and Riverbend plants will be back in court tomorrow battling over whether Duke Energy can claim the pending criminal grand jury … Read More...

Lunch links: an escape from the daily grind

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 12:35

Hope everyone’s enjoying their lunch, and this glorious spring weather, today.

First, the Charlotte Observer had this intriguing article about claims that a Charlotte hotel representative was able to cut corners obtaining a liquor license.

Also in Charlotte, StudentFirst Academy, …

State lawmakers holding tight to their privilege in voting rights cases

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:27

The battle over the disclosure of information relating to the passage of controversial voting law changes last summer continues in federal court, as state lawmakers yesterday filed an objection to a magistrate’s  order requiring them to produce at least … Read More...

Breaking: troubled Charlotte charter school StudentFirst to close next week

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:00

This just in from the Charlotte Observer‘s education reporter Ann Doss Helms on the closing of StudentFirst Academy in Charlotte:

The troubled StudentFirst Academy charter school will close at the end of next week, parents learned at an


Walton family spends big on school vouchers in North Carolina

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 09:16

The Walton Family Foundation, known for supporting vouchers, charters, and other school privatization initiatives across the country, paid $710,000 to NC-based school voucher advocacy group Parents for Educational Freedom NC (PEFNC) in 2013, an increase of more than $100,000 over … Read More...

Editorial: McCutcheon decision compunds the Citizens United disaster

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 07:22

This morning’s lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right on the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest campaign finance decision in favor of big money:

“Voting 5-4 along ideological lines, the high court said in McCutcheon v. FEC that


Court of Appeals denies request to block stay of school voucher program

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 16:37

The state Court of Appeals today denied the request by parents who intervened in the school voucher case to delay a stay of the program entered by Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood in February — a request which, if granted, would … Read More...

North Carolinians make up a large share of people in Medicaid coverage gap

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 15:29

This chart from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows where people who fall into the Medicaid coverage gap live. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, nearly 80 percent of the individuals and families shut out of expansion reside in the South. Let’s take … Read More...