Family debates merit pay

by John Hood How can we differentiate the pay of teachers on the basis of their performance while also treating them fairly? This familiar education-policy debate used to play out at the Hood family dinner table. My father spent most of his career as a principal in the...

The missing sense of urgency in Raleigh

by Chris Fitzsimon It promises to be a long hot summer in the Legislative Building in Raleigh as House and Senate leaders try to come up with a final budget agreement for the next two years with hundreds of millions of dollars and dozens of policy issues in dispute between the...

Ending voter ID before it begins?

by Susan Myrick North Carolina is the first state to lose a voter photo ID case and the Republicans in the state legislature were the deciding factor. Late last week, out of nowhere, Republicans in the state Senate and House passed a bill that effectively gutted North Carolina’s...

After Charleston, now what?

by J. Russell Capps The vast majority of hearts in America have been turned to Charleston in the past few days. While we all grieve with those, so hurt in their huge loss, there is something definitely different in the aftermath of this horrendous event. To the disappointment of...

Advance statistics show retreat

by John Hood North Carolina’s economy grew slower in 2014 than in 2013, according to data released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). BEA is the federal agency that tracks the gross domestic product (GDP), a count of all the goods and services produced for...
off

Looming: Potential 25 percent rate increase for BCBS Obamacare customers

By Katherine Restrepo It’s rate-filing season for health insurance companies, and this week marked the deadline for carriers to disclose and explain any proposed rate increases of 10 percent or more for 2016 Obamacare plans sold on the individual market. Blue Cross and Blue...

GOP in the deep end

by John Hood The North Carolina GOP is in deep trouble — or so say the Democrats and left-of-center commentators who are rooting for the Republicans currently leading the state to bicker, fall out and fail. Gov. Pat McCrory has vetoed a bill allowing magistrates with religious...

Expert: GOP ‘very likely’ to retain General Assembly majorities

by Patrick Gannon I don’t have a crystal ball, but I bet I could tell you whether a Democrat or Republican will win election in at least 150 of the 170 state House and Senate districts in 2016. With a little luck, I could probably guess at least a few more. How’s that possible 17...

Why are we eating out more?

You Decide by Mike Walden A milestone was set in our collective personal spending in January of this year. For the first time, Americans spent more on eating out than on eating in. Specifically, we spent $50.475 billion eating in restaurants and other food outlets that month,...
off

Does CON help increase access to care?

By Katherine Restrepo Proponents of Certificate of Need (CON) argue that it helps preserve healthcare infrastructure, especially in rural areas. They contend, for example, that repealing the law could lead to a greater concentration of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in more...

What McCrory really said with veto

by Patrick Gannon Gov. Pat McCrory last week took perhaps his strongest stand in two and a half years as governor, pitting himself against social conservatives everywhere when he announced his veto of a controversial piece of legislation passed by the Republican-controlled...

Ten reasons the House budget is a bad bill

by Brian Balfour Late last week the North Carolina House passed its FY 2015-17 budget proposal. The spending plan would appropriate $22.16 billion in the coming year, an increase of 6.3 percent over the amount of projected actual spending in the current budget year. (The new...