Gov. Roy Cooper is one of just two Southern governors — and eight nationwide — to earn F grades in the libertarian Cato Institute’s latest “Fiscal Report Card for America’s Governors.” Cooper earns this failing grade despite the fact that other measures tout North Carolina’s strong economy and fiscal health. Chris Edwards, editor of Cato’s DownsizingGovernment.org, explains why North Carolina’s chief executive deserves such low marks. School choice faces a number of attacks from critics. One of the most common criticisms involves standards at private schools that see increased enrollment thanks to school voucher programs. Matthew Ladner, senior research fellow at the Charles Koch Institute, explains why those critiques miss the mark. As students headed back to class this fall, state education officials sought to reassure parents that public schools are taking steps to ensure safety. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson led a recent news conference outlining safety measures designed to help prevent the incidents of school violence that have generated headlines across the country in recent years. A new state commission is focusing on the fair treatment of college student-athletes in North Carolina. During the group’s first meeting, some of the most compelling testimony came from lobbyist David Collins, a former UNC-Chapel Hill football player. Collins explained how a serious ankle injury during his senior year led to unexpected problems and lingering health concerns. State lawmakers are offering contrasting assessments of hog lagoons’ environmental performance during Hurricane Florence. Dan Way, Carolina Journal associate editor, reported those assessments from one of the General Assembly’s top agricultural advocates and one of its most vocal environmental watchdogs. Way shares highlights from his work.