Commentary, News

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch:

Session adjournment#1 – Ending discrimination is more important than ending the session

It’s that time of the General Assembly session when legislative leaders are talking about adjourning and leaving town. House Speaker Tim Moore said this week that the odds are 50-50 that the session will end before July 4th while Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown says the odds are better than that.

Most of that speculation comes from news that House and Senate negotiators working behind closed doors on a final budget agreement are close to a deal which is always the biggest hurdle standing in the way of ending a typical legislative session.

But this is not a typical year. [Continue Reading…]

Anca Stefan#2 –  Could proposed teacher background check bill silence protesting educators?
Supporters say bill is about safety; others worry activists arrested during protest could lose licensure

For the better part of 24 hours, Anca Stefan’s phone has been humming. Messages, calls, social media notifications are pouring in from her now viral, diaristic account of her arrest, along with 13 other protesters, last week for demonstrating against state education policies near the state capitol in Raleigh.

Stefan, a social studies teacher in a Durham public school, had penned a passionate Facebook screed about her otherwise peaceable booking for impeding traffic and resisting an officer—she says one officer called her protest the “noblest” reason for arrest—after Stefan’s group blocked off the intersection of Fayetteville and Morgan streets in Raleigh during rush hour.

[Continue Reading…]

Wake Forest#3 – The Koch Brothers-funded invasion of NC universities continues as Wake Forest joins the network

Love them or hate them, there’s one thing that most everyone can agree on when it comes to the nation’s most visible and ambitious billionaire plutocrats: the Koch brothers know what they want and make no bones about pursuing it. Simply put, they want to control public policy making at the national, state and local levels in the United States and are prepared to do whatever it takes and spend whatever is necessary to make their dream a reality.

[Continue Reading…]

Classroom-desk-400#4 – NC Senate’s math bill doesn’t add up

Last week, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would require high schools across the state to simultaneously offer two completely different math tracks: the integrated math sequence that is currently taught in middle and high schools and the old Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II sequence that was previously taught.

The most glaring problem with the bill is the obvious impracticality of requiring administrators and educators to create two sets of classrooms, schedules, lesson plans, professional development modules, textbooks, instructional supplies, and assessments—all while hiring additional teachers to correspond with each track.

[Continue Reading…]

Women's health and safety#5 – Despite posturing, NC lawmakers are ignoring women’s health and safety in the places that really matter

During the tumultuous 2016 legislative session, access to affordable, quality health care doesn’t seem to have been on the mind of many state lawmakers. While preparing and submitting a demonstration waiver to the federal government to alter and “reform” the state’s Medicaid program is an accomplishment, lawmakers and administrators have ignored health care policies that are truly innovative and that could extend access to affordable, quality health care to all North Carolinians..

[Continue Reading…]

 

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