Pivot back to markets

By John Hood RALEIGH — Over the past four years, state policymakers in Raleigh have adopted a series of sweeping changes in public policy, including a new state tax code, school choice, new energy policies, election laws, and historic reforms of the regulatory process. Some North...

The secret to being debt free

Get Out of Debt Guy Steve Rhode Dear Steve, My husband and I have been limping along just breaking even for sometime now just trying to dig ourselves out of debt and save money. We’ve cut everything back to the minimum and have to constantly tell our kids to do without. I can’t...

A martyr to applause

by John Hood If the recent review of campus-based centers by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors was all an elaborate ruse to silence a critic of Republicans, it would probably qualify as the most improbable, elaborate, and ineffective conspiracy in North Carolina...

What we hope not to hear during legislative debates

by Patrick Gannon With another General Assembly long session upon us, we once again will get to hear hundreds of hours of political debate over the next few months, ranging from the extremely mundane to the vitally important. During debates in committees and on the House and...

Lawmaker’s snow day dream would cost billions

by Brian Balfour So a lonely, bored state legislator takes to Twitter the other day when the legislature was snowed out, and lists items he’d like to force state taxpayers to pay for. And for some reason, this makes the news. State Senator Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) tweeted an...

The Senate’s miraculous-or not-gas tax plan

by Patrick Gannon If you could devise a way to bring in more than $1 billion in new government revenue over a few years, while cutting taxes simultaneously, you might be a miracle worker. Yet that’s what several high-ranking Republicans in the state Senate claim to have done with...

School grades help reveal quality of public education

by Bob Luebke Recently North Carolina released A-F grades for all traditional public and charter schools. Only about 5 percent of schools got A’s; about 29 percent got D’s or F’s. News outlets have been all over the story. There will be endless analyses and review of the data. In...
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Local school report cards

Here are the grades of schools in our area, released as part of the school progress reports. Franklin County: Bunn Elementary, C; Edward Best Elementary, B; Franklinton Elementary, D; Laurel Mill Elementary, D; Long Mill Elementary, C; Louisburg Elementary, D; Royal Elementary,...

Letter grades are tough love for education

by Patrick Gannon Tough love is now part of government’s role. That’s what happened in many areas across North Carolina last week when every public and charter school in the state was given an A-to-F grade for the 2013-14 school year by the State Board of Education. More schools...

Fair is not foul

by John Hood At the beginning of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, three grotesque witches enter the stage with thunder rumbling in the background. You may recall that the witches ending up chanting in unison: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair/Hover through the fog and filthy air.” The...

A compass for Valentine’s Day

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic cards, dinners, flowers, chocolates, etc., we express love and affection. Honestly, most of us would like to improve in the love department. The good news: this is entirely possible, if we know what to do. We need both a map and a...

Restoration is theme early in session

by Patrick Gannon The theme of the first week of the General Assembly session could be summed up adequately with one word: “restoration.” And not just because 170 legislators came back to town for the long legislative session, bringing the political divisiveness that is Jones...