Poverty center closing has one fringe benefit

The wailing over the closing of a University of North Carolina-based center has at least one fringe benefit: It underscores why the closing was  needed. John Fennebresque, chairman of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the UNC System, in the News & Observer wrote: “Over the last...

Wake needs more representation, diversity on county board

by Chad Barefoot I recently introduced Senate Bill 181, Wake County Commissioner Districts, to increase representation and geographic diversity on the Wake County Board of Commissioners and to ensure that every Wake County voter has a voice. Wake County is the state’s most...

The next phase of the unaccountability movement in education

If lessons from other states are any indication, get ready for scandals, the wasting of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, dreadful student achievement and maybe even fraud next fall as North Carolina turns over the education of thousands of students to a company with an...

Fiscal issues divide state’s Republicans

Now that Gov. Pat McCrory has released his budget proposal for the 2015-17 biennium, there are at least two fiscal issues dividing North Carolina Republicans this year. Before discussing them, however, two observations are obligatory. First, there is no substantial constituency...

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,...