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Charter School Advisory Board recommends a waiver for Douglass Academy, Wilmington charter with low enrollment

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 13:30

Members of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board made a recommendation to the State Board of Education yesterday to give fellow advisory board member Baker Mitchell’s Wilmington charter school, Douglass Academy, a temporary waiver that would allow the K-2 … Read More...

Lunch links: North Carolina man interviews Obama

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 12:00

What makes this worth watching is that North Carolina man happens to be  Zach Galifianakis, the comedian who grew up in Wilkesboro and owns a farm in Alleghany County. (His uncle Nick Galifianakis of Durham also served in Congress … Read More...

Marijuana oil bill is a good start

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:17

State Rep. Pat McElraft deserves credit for expressing her intent to introduce legislation that would legalize the use of a specific kind of marijuana oil that has shown promise in treating an especially horrific illness that afflicts children.  The Republican … Read More...

Why the loss of Voting Rights Act protections is so destructive

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:22

This blog post is part of a series called Place Matters. The other posts can be accessed here, here, and here.

The Voting Rights Act subjected 40 percent of North Carolina’s counties to the mandatory “pre-clearance” regulations … Read More...

North Carolinians gather to honor Sen. Martin Nesbitt

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 09:32

Funeral services are slated for this afternoon for Senator Martin Nesbitt. The Democratic Senate leader, who died last week of stomach cancer, was remembered as a mountain populist in era of hyperpartisanship and a defender of working people in his hometown … Read More...

Editorial: End gerrymandering now

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 08:10

This morning’s Wilmington Star-News makes the case yet again for doing away with North Carolina’s absurdly gerrymandered political maps and the embarrassingly partisan process that gave rise to them.

“When they rode into office in the 2010 elections, Republicans pledged


While politicians continue to complain about the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Americans continues to decline

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 16:57

The latest Gallup poll shows a continuing decline in the number of uninsured Americans while the federal government reports 4 million people have already enrolled in new health options under the Affordable Care Act.  This reality collides harshly with the … Read More...

NC Policy Watch to host one of America’s leading economists at March 26 luncheon

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:57

Here’s an event you won’t want to miss: On Wednesday March 26, N.C. Policy Watch will host one of America’s leading economists, Dr. Dean Baker,  for a special Crucial Conversation.

Click here to register

Dean Baker is co-director of …

Lunch Links: DENR downsizing, discontent parents, diverse millennials, and No More Mr. Nice Guy (w/video)

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 12:25

Hopefully all Policy Watch readers are taking a bit of their lunch break outside – as we break into the 70s and finally get to enjoy more daylight.

If you’re still getting caught up on news from the weekend, Governor … Read More...

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...