RALEIGH — Some questions still surround first lady Mary Easley’s initial hiring at NCSU at $80,000 a year although the UNC Board of Governors on Sept. 12 approved a $90,000 pay raise and five-year contract for her at NC State.
RALEIGH — State education tax credits could lower the cost of running public schools, improve student performance, and give more parents a choice in deciding the type of education their children should receive. That’s the assessment of a report the N.C. Education Alliance released earlier this year. Alliance President Lindalyn Kakadelis discussed the findings with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.
RALEIGH – Guilford County public schools have seen “promising results” during the first two years of Mission Possible, an incentive-pay program for teachers and administrators. That’s the assessment of a new John Locke Foundation Policy Report, funded by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
RALEIGH — North Carolina earns a D grade for its Taxpayers’ Return on Investment, a new measure that compares states’ tax burdens to their performance in education, road quality, health, and crime, along with income and population growth. A new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report explains that grade.
RALEIGH — N.C. Sen. Richard Burr and N.C. Rep. Sue Myrick were the most taxpayer-friendly members of the state’s congressional delegation during the 2007 term, according to a recent ratings report by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a conservative watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C.
RALEIGH — State lawmakers decided this year to extend the life of the state’s Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change. That group will make recommendations on what steps, if any, North Carolina should take with respect to global warming and climate change. From its inception in 2005, the commission has veered from its original mission, according to Roy Cordato, vice president for research and resident scholar at the John Locke Foundation. Cordato discussed the commission with Donna Martinez for Carolina Journal Radio.
RALEIGH — On Aug. 25 about 30 high school freshmen in Bertie County took advantage of a unique opportunity to earn a high school diploma and train for their chosen career in agriculture. Their training, at the new School of Agri-Science Studies at the Early College High School, was of a depth rarely afforded to high school students.
RALEIGH – More than 70 percent of the school districts that won state dropout prevention grants last year saw their graduation rates decline in 2008. A John Locke Foundation analyst offers that evidence in a new Spotlight report that questions the grants' value.
RALEIGH — Consumers can blame North Carolina’s price-gouging law for the gas lines and shortages appearing in the wake of Hurricane Ike. That’s the assessment of a John Locke Foundation analyst who has studied the unintended consequences of price-gouging legislation.
RALEIGH — As the push to track violent and subtle gang-related patterns intensifies statewide, there still appears to be no discussion among N.C. Board of Education members about requiring schools to report gang-related activities.
RALEIGH — N.C. Insurance Commissioner Jim Long ordered Thursday a 16.1 percent decrease in North Carolina’s maximum auto insurance rates. A news release from Long’s office estimated “potential savings of more than $1 billion.” The true picture is more complicated, according to Eli Lehrer, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In July, Lehrer’s John Locke Foundation Policy Report labeled North Carolina’s auto insurance system the worst in the country.
GREENSBORO — Despite having readily available data on the N.C.-funded More At Four pre-kindergarten program that show the program might not be working, the state continues to pour money into the program without testing whether it has long-term learning effects.
RALEIGH — Energy is the top concern for Americans by a wide margin over any other issue, according to recent polls. A Rasmussen poll Aug. 6 showed that 64 percent of Americans want offshore drilling for domestic oil and natural gas as a way to lower gas prices. Fifty-five percent think the nation should build more nuclear plants.
RALEIGH — Textbook publishers have come under intense scrutiny because the prices of textbooks keep going up. Students have been hit by these prices and must pay hundreds of dollars for books from which only small portions are assigned. Yet innovations, from faculty use of online resources to students’ exchange of books through Facebook and online retailers, might soon change this industry.
RALEIGH — Raleigh’s new downtown convention center already has offered almost $2.3 million in room rental discounts to secure convention business, including an average 58 percent discount for events scheduled through June 2009. A new John Locke Foundation Regional Brief predicts the $221 million center will turn into a “money pit” in the years ahead.
RALEIGH — Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently spoke in Raleigh on the topic “Prosperity in Peril.” Moore believes the economic benefits tied to the Bush tax cuts could be in jeopardy under the next presidential administration. He discussed the topic with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.
RALEIGH — Peter Rascoe had a rough first day on the job. Shortly after taking over as Chowan County manager, he learned that the county couldn’t pay its bills. It had only $723,335 in total cash and investments on hand, had burned its way through a $29 million reserve fund, and faced a $4 million budget shortfall.
RALEIGH — The 2007-08 session of the General Assembly adjourned with half a dozen pro-life bills left on the table, but states neighboring North Carolina considered or passed several similar bills during the same period, making the Tar Heel State a standout in the Southeast in blocking debate on abortion-related measures.