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Editorial: State must halt slide in support for higher ed

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 08:11
In case you missed it over the weekend, the Greensboro News & Record posted a good editorial on North Carolina’s gradually declining commitment to its colleges and universities. As the editorial rightly noted, the state has been reduced to charging higher tuition of some students in order to generate funds to subsidize tuition for those ...

Federal judge: New voting law applies in November elections

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:58
In a 125-page decision released at 5 p.m. on Friday,  U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder ruled that the upcoming November elections will go forward under provisions of the new voting law enacted by the General Assembly in 2013. For North Carolina voters, that means for this election cycle, there will be no same-day registration, ...

The crazy arguments pro-discrimination forces apparently want A.G. Cooper to make

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 16:44
At yesterday’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon on the future of marriage equality, Chris Brook, the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, made it pretty clear what he intends to argue in federal court when he next gets the opportunity in the organization’s challenges to North Carolina’s marriage discrimination ...

Plans afoot to impeach Attorney General Roy Cooper?

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:20
State Sen. Norm Sanderson (R-Pamlico) told those attending the inaugural meeting of the Morehead-Beaufort Tea Party yesterday that the top leadership in both GOP-controlled branches of the legislature are working to remove Attorney General Roy Cooper from office, according to this report in the Carolina Coast. Citing Cooper’s announcement in late July that his office would ...

NC NAACP, Latino and Immigrant Advocacy Groups Condemn Governor’s Misinformation Campaign about refugee children

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:52
The North Carolina NAACP, the Forward Together Moral Movement and Latino rights organizations in North Carolina will stand together Friday afternoon to challenge Gov. Pat McCrory for pandering to racial fears in statements about Central American children fleeing violence at home and coming to the United States. McCrory claimed his recent remarks are motivated by ...

Huge hidden change to education funding to cause big problems for local school districts

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:35
Voices of concern are growing louder as more and more individuals and institutions directly impacted by the new state budget signed by Gov. McCrory yesterday come to grasp what is actually in the 260 page document. As reported in the post immediately below and in this story by Sarah Ovaska on Wednesday, the list of ...

Last minute “technical corrections” bill includes anti-consumer giveaway to manufactured housing industry

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:10
As previously reported here, here and numerous other places, this year’s “technical corrections” bill at the General Assembly was and is an especially egregious example of secret legislative sausage making at its worst. The bill is chock-full of substantive (i.e. a lot more than “technical”) changes to the law – many of which were never ...

DPI publishes 2014 teacher salary schedule; confusion over longevity pay lingers

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 22:33
Now that Gov. McCrory has signed the 2014 state budget into law, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction published the 2014 Public Schools Salary Schedule this evening, which includes teachers’ salaries as well as salaries for instructional support staff, principals, and other administrators and other public school personnel. Click here to see the salary schedule ...

Governor approves controversial charter schools bill that limits transparency

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 17:05
Governor McCrory approved a controversial charter schools bill today that some had speculated might be the only veto of the 2014 session. As NC Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner reported last week in a story entitled “Less transparency, fewer protections hallmarks of latest charter school legislation,” the bill provides a means for supposedly public charter ...

Industrial Commission denies more than 300 eugenics claims in initial review

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:12
According to a release today by the N.C. Department of Administration, as of July 31, 2014 the state Industrial Commission has denied more than 300 claims for compensation from the $10 million Eugenics Compensation Fund. The Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims had received 780 claim forms from potential Eugenics Board sterilization victims by the ...

Final budget puts North Carolina on fiscally irresponsible path as state falls further behind

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:32
Governor McCrory signed a final budget into law for the current 2015 fiscal year, which runs from July 2014 through June 2015, this morning. The $21.1 billion budget includes new spending initiatives – largely pay raises for teachers and state employees – but fails to include additional revenue to sustain this spending in the long-term. ...

McCrory signs budget, takes petty swipes at his critics and opponents

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:42
Gov. Pat McCrory held a formal signing ceremony to herald his approval of the new FY 2015 state budget this morning. The signing took place around a fancy old desk that was set up in front of some red carpeted stairs in the Governor’s mansion with a group of legislators and administration officials standing in ...

Editorial blasts Governor as either “disingenuous” or “surprisingly uninformed” on child refugees

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:21
The Governor’s hometown newspaper (i.e. the one that endorsed him for the job just two years ago) is fairly merciless today in rendering its verdict on McCrory’s foray into the world of immigration policy this week. As this morning’s editorial in the Charlotte Observer rightly notes: When Gov. Pat McCrory speaks, it’s frequently hard to ...

Art Pope to step down as state budget director

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 14:31
Governor Pat McCrory announced Wednesday that Art Pope will step down as state budget director in September to return to the private sector. Succeeding Pope will be Lee Roberts, a Raleigh banking executive who the governor appointed to the North Carolina Banking Commission last year. While Pope has been a controversial figure for the administration, ...

Breaking: Bonner Bridge case heading back to court

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 13:02
The dispute over the Bonner Bridge project is heading back to the district court, after a unanimous panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held today that the lower court had failed to consider certain requirements relating to the protection of wildlife refuge land — here, the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras ...

The voter fraud bait-and-switch

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:39
Election law expert Justin Levitt has this must-read post today in the Washington Post about the lack of credible voter fraud incidents that a photo ID could have prevented. Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has been tracking such incidents since 2008 and reports that out of billions of votes cast ...

New report: Solar power growing fast but NC could do much, much more

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:01
The good people at Environment North Carolina have released a new report on the state of solar power (“Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013″) and the news is both good and bad for North Carolina. First, the good — North Carolina is in the Top ...

Teacher assistants already being cut, while McCrory plans to proudly sign a budget that preserves TA positions

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 10:06
Governor Pat McCrory has said repeatedly he plans to sign the 2014 budget passed last week–and with pride, thanks in part to the fact that it preserves teacher assistant positions, which are particularly important to him. But on the ground, we’re already seeing local school districts cutting teacher assistants positions as they are faced with ...

Editorial: Teacher pay plan ‘a confusing mess’

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 08:51
Almost a week after House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger announced a budget deal, there is still a tremendous amount of confusion over how much of a raise teachers can expect this fall. Governor Pat McCrory blamed that uncertainty Tuesday on the NC Association of Educators: The editorial board of ...

Last chance to RSVP for tomorrow’s luncheon on the future of marriage equality

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 08:44
If there’s a more significant positive policy change looming on the horizon in North Carolina than the potential near-term arrival of marriage equality, it’s hard to say what that would be. So, when might it happen? What has to happen first? Don’t miss the chance to learn the answers to these and other similar questions ...

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