Gov. Roy Cooper’s first state budget proposal includes an emphasis on raising public school teacher pay. Cooper’s plan shows little interest, and some outright opposition, to boosting school choice options. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s director of research and education studies, analyzes Cooper’s proposals and compares them to the Republican-led General Assembly’s recent education priorities. Stoops also highlights recent remarks from some African-American Democratic legislators who stand against Cooper in supporting school choice. Most of us have heard about mandates associated with the federal Affordable Care Act. But a group called the N.C. Coalition for Fiscal Health is working to reduce the number of state-level health insurance mandates. Executive Director Matt Bales explains why his group is targeting these state rules. A North Carolinian could have a major impact on the next federal law dealing with higher education funding. U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District, now chairs the U.S. House’s Committee on Education and the Work Force. During a recent public speech, Foxx outlined her priorities as that committee deals with reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act. President Trump has promised to promote school choice, suggesting that he’ll proceed with a choice plan involving as much as $20 billion from the federal government. Michael Petrilli, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute, offers his analysis of how Trump’s plan might work. Petrilli also explains why school choice supporters approach federal involvement in the issue with caution. A Florida beachfront property-rights battle has attracted attention from George Leef, Forbes columnist and Martin Center director of research. Leef explains why one couple’s court battle exposes a larger problem of government trying to threaten property rights by citing the public’s “customary use” of otherwise privately owned land.