NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

Renee Ellmers on data-driven policy solutions to poverty

Sun, 03/15/2015 - 15:34
Rep. Renee Ellmers showed up to a panel at the South By Southwest conference Sunday to talk about how big data can transform poverty policy. Ellmers, who was also here on Saturday to talk about broadband competition in the communications space, appeared at this panel in place of Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), who sponsored a ...

Students petition UNC Board of Governors to rethink financial aid cap

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 14:42
Two students who attend colleges in the UNC-System have created an online petition asking the UNC Board of Governors to rescind its financial aid cap and instead cap student loan debt for low and middle-income families. In August 2014, the Board of Governors voted unanimously to cap the tuition revenue used towards need-based aid at 15 ...

UNC Board of Governors explain themselves

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 12:42
John Fennebresque, a Charlotte attorney who serves as chair of the UNC Board of Governors, responded this week to criticisms of recent decisions  to raise tuition, close three academic centers and get rid of its much-respected system president, Tom Ross. In an editorial published Thursday by the Charlotte Observer, Fennebresque said the board was happy ...

Conservative opposition to Loretta Lynch breaks new boundaries

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:41
It’s no particular news that conservatives in Washington continue to raze basic rules and traditions of American governance. When a block of U.S. Senators starts trying to seize authority to conduct U.S. foreign policy from the chief executive, you know things have hit a new low. Still the ongoing stonewalling of Attorney General nominee and ...

More tax cuts the wrong medicine for what ails the NC economy

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 09:32
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance committee heard presentations that made the case for more changes to the state’s tax code. While beginning with many of the economic realities in North Carolina—stagnant and falling wages, persistently high poverty, and slow growth— the presentation prescribes the wrong medicine: more cuts to the income tax in favor of ...

We told you so: The amazing accomplishments of the 2013 GOP tax cuts

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 07:42
Not to say “we told you so,” but…we told you so. Two years ago, when the conservative leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly pushed through a state tax overhaul, experts at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center explained that it was about to bring about two fairly amazing (and, one would have thought, mutually ...

Better late than never: Montel Williams to stop endorsing payday loans

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 14:00
There is another small ray of good news today in the long-term battle to rid the nation of the predatory scalawags in the payday loan racket. After years as serving as the well-compensated barker for the sharks at MoneyMutual, TV pitchman Montel Williams has announced that he will stop endorsing the company. The announcement came ...

Sen. Tillman files bill to eliminate Personal Education Plans (PEPs) in public schools

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 13:06
Senator Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) filed a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the requirement for public schools to offer Personal Education Plans (PEPs), which provide academically struggling, at-risk students with strategic interventions to bring them up to grade-level proficiency. “Personal education plans are just a lot of paperwork for a lot of students who really just don’t ...

Good to know Guv is on top of things

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 11:43
And why did they send this out at 11:30 a.m.??     Gov. Pat McCrory’s Public Schedule for Thursday, March 12, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 919-814-2100 Thursday, March 12, 2015 govpress@nc.gov Raleigh, N.C. – The Office of Governor Pat McCrory released the following public schedule for today: Guilford County WHO: Governor Pat McCrory WHAT: University ...

Assessing fines based upon income?

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 10:45
For years, Finland’s public education system has served as the exemplar against which schools in other countries should be measured. By elevating the status of teachers to “professionals” and minimizing testing in favor of personal attention, the Finns have a proven track record. As LynNell Hancock reported in this 2011 Smithsonian piece: Educators had little idea it ...

Deeper look into governor’s proposed budget highlights inadequate support for public education

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 09:17
As my colleague highlights in a recent blog, the governor’s proposed budget for the next two years fails to meaningfully reinvest in critical public structures, such as public education, that drive the state forward. This reality becomes much clearer when placing the governor’s budget into broader context. Consider state funding for textbooks and other classroom-level resources ...

Conservative NC lawmakers: Denying climate change but at least willing to address one symptom

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 07:59
It’s become a bizarre article of faith on the modern American Right that climate change and the science demonstrating the human role in bringing it about are all part of some diabolical plot by liberal academics and activists bent on limiting “freedom” and obtaining more funding. Things have gotten so bad that it’s practically forbidden ...

Senate advances plan to redraw Wake Commission, voters denied chance to decide (video)

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 06:21
A final vote is expected today in the state Senate on a measure that would redraw the Wake County Board of Commissioners district boundaries. Sen. Chad Barefoot told his colleagues Wednesday the new plan outlined in Senate Bill 181 would give small towns a greater voice at the local level. But opponents say the bill ...

Lawmaker wants to make some N.C. Port Authority records off-limits to the public

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 14:32
A state Senator who previously chaired the N.C. State Port Authority wants to make contracts the state port authority enters into with carriers a secret. If passed, the bill would carve out an exemption to the state public records law for “usage” contracts the state port enters into with carriers. The contracts generally detail the ...

New study shows that vast majority of Teach for America teachers plan to leave the classroom

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 14:14
A new study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research indicates that the much-debated Teach for America program (TFA) is not creating more effective or successful teachers. The study shows that test scores for students taught by TFA teachers in their first or second year of teaching  are on par with those taught by traditionally certified teachers. ...

Trending today on Jones Street – #SB181, #fracking, #taxreform, and #MoralMondays

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:38
Two controversial redistricting bills, a last-minute fracking maneuver, the shifting budget outlook, and the return of Moral Mondays highlight the top tweeted stories at the legislature this afternoon: If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em: The Republican plan to retake Wake County. By @rjgeary #ncpol #ncga #gerrymander http://t.co/oEEcytd6o1 — Indy Week (@indyweek) March 11, 2015 Senate ...

The Tax Shift: Share your story on how tax changes have affected your quality of life

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:20
State legislative leaders said tax plan changes were supposed to help most North Carolinians, while groups like the Budget & Tax Center cast skepticism at those claims, predicting that the average North Carolinians would see their share of the tax load increase as the richest in the state enjoyed tax breaks. So what happened in ...

State House rams through fracking amendment

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:09
When state lawmakers passed a law to allow the introduction of fracking into North Carolina a couple of years ago, proponents promised the public that the state would have the strongest possible environmental protection rules. Today, the state House took one of what will undoubtedly be a repeated series of steps to walk away from ...

The shifting foundation for the budget debate

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 11:51
When putting together a budget, the debate typically entails where funding has expanded, what new initiatives have been introduced, and how much funding has been cut. However as North Carolinians are learning, when the baseline for comparison changes, spending that was once guaranteed may go away and new initiatives may only serve to undercut other ...

State lawmakers get ready to choose new members for UNC Board of Governors (with lists)

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 09:00
The lists of nominees for a combined 16 seats on the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors are out. Lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature are expected to hold elections by March 19 to choose 16 of the board’s 32 members who oversee the 17-campus UNC system. The House and Senate will select ...

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