The week’s top stories on Policy Watch

1. Push to comply with Leandro mandate for state‘s schools gains momentum

Showdown with resistant General Assembly looms as gubernatorial commission urges implementation of court-approved plan

Flush with cash, the state of North Carolina owes its children “nothing less” than a fully funded Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan, the Governor’s Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education unanimously agreed Tuesday.

The commission made its statement in a resolution urging “state bodies, entities, and agencies to take all necessary actions” to implement the plan which  outlines steps the state must take to meet its constitutional obligation to ensure students have access to sound basic education.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use our state’s resources to truly transform and strengthen our public schools,” said Gov. Roy Cooper, who attended the early part of the commission’s virtual meeting. “Our state has the resources to live up to our constitutional obligation to our children and now is the time to do it.”  [Read more…]

2. Increased demand for COVID-19 testing swamps NC pediatricians

The medical team at Goldsboro Pediatrics sees a steady stream of patients from 8 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, their appointment schedules swelled by parents seeking COVID-19 tests for their children.

Slots for the walk-in hour of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. are usually filled by 8:30, said Dr. Teague Horton, a partner in the practice.

Some children exposed to COVID-19 at school must be quarantined. They need to test negative for COVID-19 to shorten their quarantine from 10 days to seven days if they have no symptoms.

“The poor parents are like, ‘help me out so I can get my kid back into school,’” Horton said in a recent interview. [Read more…]

3. ‘Their tank is empty’: Local public health officials combat staff burnout, low pay, harassment

6. The sound of crickets chirping: The discouraging response of NC conservatives to new Trump coup attempt revelations(Commentary)

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The United States of America will celebrate the 250th anniversary as a free and democratic republic in less than five years on July 4, 2026.

At least that’s the plan.

Amazingly, however, this event appears no longer to be a sure thing. As a growing body of evidence has made clear in recent days, our nation came much closer than most of us had realized to experiencing a right-wing coup d’état in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. What’s more, the would-be traitors behind the effort remain on the scene and, by all indications, actively engaged in renewing their efforts.

Meanwhile, the people and organizations with the greatest power to help expose this criminality and stop it – Republican politicians and their allies in national and state conservative think tanks – remain worrisomely muted or even complicit in the scheme. [Read more…]

7. NC schoolchildren deserve better than childish excuses  (Commentary)

8. Weekly Radio Interviews:

Click here for the latest radio interviews and audio commentaries from Policy Watch Director Rob Schofield.

9. Weekly Editorial Cartoon:

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