Carolina Journal Weekly Report

Weekly Report 2011-02-18

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of
February 18, 2011

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina needs a thorough review of the number and
types of courses offered in its public schools, especially during tight
budget times. The John Locke Foundation’s top education expert reaches
that conclusion in a new Spotlight report.

“There is no evidence that school districts or the state has conducted
an audit of the costs and outcomes of elective courses,” said report
Dr. Terry Stoops, JLF Director of Education Studies. “A statewide
curriculum audit would be a sound way to reduce costs and refocus our
curriculum on the core skills that many of our public school students so
desperately need.”

The state’s public schools offered nearly 540 different courses in
2009-10, according to Stoops’ report. “The list runs the gamut from
Algebra I to Zoology, and it includes such titles as Folk Arts,
Geography in Action, and Handbells,” he said. “We’ve been raising
questions about the usefulness of some of these course offerings since
2007, when we issued our first curriculum review.”

Even as public school officials have complained in recent years about
tightening their belts, the number of available courses has increased,
Stoops said. “Ten years ago, North Carolina public schools offered about
450 courses,” he said. “By 2005, that number had jumped to 500. Now at
nearly 540, the number of different courses has increased by 20 percent
in just a decade.”

News Features

CJ: Perdue budget would extend temporary sales tax
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposed budget for
the new fiscal year would make permanent most of a temporary 1-cent
sales tax hike, eliminate thousands of state employee positions, and
reduce the corporate tax rate from the highest in the Southeast to the

CJ: New legislators seek end to forced annexation
RALEIGH — On Feb. 2, about 100 opponents of
forced annexation, who live in communities from Asheville to Wilmington,
marched down the halls of the General Assembly wearing red shirts
reading “Stop NC Annexation,” and urging their representatives to
support a moratorium on the practice.

CJ: Audit documents TransPark’s massive debt
RALEIGH — The N.C. Global TransPark Authority had an outstanding loan balance of more than $38 million for the fiscal
year ending June 30, 2010, and insufficient operating cash to repay it
when it comes due on Oct. 1, concluded an audit commissioned by State
Auditor Beth Wood that she released last Friday.

CJ: Bill would restore partisan labels to judicial races
RALEIGH — Candidates running for judicial office
in North Carolina would have their party affiliation listed on the
ballot for the first time in a decade under legislation pending in the
General Assembly.

CJ Video: Charter school bill moves to Senate floor
RALEIGH — Senate Bill 8, a bill transforming
charter schools in North Carolina, advanced along a largely party-line
vote through a Senate committee, moving it to the floor. The bill’s
original intent was to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in
the state, now set at 100.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 10:00am-4:00pm
A Citizens’ Constitutional Workshop in La Grange, NC
with presenters Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions Can Teach Us Today

Monday, February 21, 2011 at 12:00 Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Dr. John Staddon
Market Failure: Financial Markets, Designed for Disaster

Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
21st Anniversary Dinner
with our special guest George Will
SOLD OUT! — The John Locke Foundation’s 21st Anniversary Dinner, featuring columnist George Will

Thanks to our sponsors

Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 11:00am- 4:30pm
A Citizens’ Constitutional Workshop in Asheville, NC
with presenters Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions
Can Teach Us Today

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

The tax system is just one piece. Many economists would say it is a minor piece.
— N.C. State University economist Michael Walden, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposal to cut the state corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent. Walden thinks the proposed tax cut would help the state’s economy but that there are many other factors that influence a state’s business climate.

That’s a frightening precedent, if that were to be approved.
— Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow, commenting to the Durham Herald-Sun on Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposed state budget, which would provide funding for all current teacher’s and teacher’s aides but make counties responsible for providing money for a range of support functions, from administrators to custodians.

It’s a lot of small parts all moving in a positive direction.
Barry Boardman, an economist with the state’s Fiscal Research Division, describing to the Raleigh News & Observer why the latest state revenue projections for the fiscal year that begins July 1 are up $600 million versus some earlier estimates.

Nobody really wants to see so-and-so ask the dumbest question of the day. I think that’s the reason we maintain that.
— Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, justifying a closed-door Republican caucus session with lobbyists on both sides of the video poker debate.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood discusses the impact of a federal judge’s recent ruling on the health care law; Marquette University’s Howard Fuller on improving education options; state geologist Kenneth Taylor describes N.C.’s possible shale supply and Rep. Ruth Samuelson and N.C. DENR’s Robin Smith respond; the Capital Research Center’s Martin Morse Wooster discusses philanthropy mistakes that waste money; and JLF’s Terry Stoops discusses tax credits for private and home-schooling and other K-12 reform ideas

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell
for another week of political discussion and debate on the most
intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Perdue’s State of the State Address; UNC Board of Governors cutting programs, raising tuition; sunshine or secret meetings; and Laura’s Law to crack down on drunk drivers.
This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; Raleigh radio host Rick Martinez; and political analyst Jeanne Bonds.


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