Commentary, News

This week’s top five on NC Policy Watch

#1 – PW exclusive: Foreign company proposes to emit 140 tons of “super pollutant” each year in southeastern NC: Log fumigation operation would be located near low-income community of color, make use of widely banned chemical, methyl bromide — Ashley Niquetta Daniels went to services last Sunday at Evergreen AME Zion Church in Delco — the church she attended as a child — and gave a talk about pollution. Not just any pollution, but the 140 tons of methyl bromide emissions that could be emitted into the air each year in and around Delco, a hamlet in Columbus County, 18 miles west of Wilmington.

“People knew some about logs,” Daniels told Policy Watch. “But nobody knew anything about the fumigation.”
[Read more…]

***BONUS READS: 

#2 – Heads up: Legislative leaders plot still more destructive power grabs — After having exercised seven-plus years of relentless, “take no prisoners” rule and with pollsters and pundits forecasting a tough election year for the allies of Donald Trump, you’d think that North Carolina’s legislative leaders might be in a mood to choose a slightly more moderate path during the upcoming legislative “short” session that commences May 16.

Think again. [Read more…]

#3 –Why both sides are wrong: NC’s teacher pay ranking is even worse than it appears — A tired story repeats itself every year when state rankings of teacher pay are released. Public school advocates claim that North Carolina’s low teacher pay ranking and shortfall from national average pay levels indicate that we aren’t paying our teachers enough. Right-wing pundits then try to rebut the public school advocates by claiming that – when adjusted for North Carolina’s lower cost-of-living – teacher pay is actually pretty good.

Neither side is using teacher pay data correctly. [Read more…]

***BONUS READS: 

#4 – Orange County: Part of the changing-face of pretrial justice — The inequities of the cash bail system are something Orange County officials have long understood. The county is one of dozens across the state that support pretrial services — a jail alternative system that identifies poor people who are low risks for violence and likely to show up for their court dates and allows them to be released on very low or no bail. [Read more…]

***BONUS READ: 

#5 – DPI veterans question cost, speed, and value of latest agency audit — The longtime leaders of North Carolina’s top public school agency are questioning the depth and the cost of a newly-released organizational review that calls for a “transformation” in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Consultants with Ernst & Young conducted the agency review over a period of 12 weeks this year, after state Superintendent Mark Johnson asked for and received a $1 million budget allocation from state legislators last year to audit DPI.  [Read more…]

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