• Research Report

    Equity in School Finance: Contrary to Myth, District Funding Varies Little

    posted December 22, 2004 by John Hood
    During the 2005 session, state lawmakers are expected to take up the issue of how to comply with court rulings in the Leandro case. It is important to discard widespread misperceptions. First, Leandro does not require taxpayers to spend more money on public education. Second, public-school funding does not differ significantly across counties when all spending is included. Third, the small gap that remains is shrinking, not growing, and is unlikely to explain differences in student outcomes. Finally, local funds are a reasonable way to compensate for elevated labor costs in counties with high housing prices.
  • Research Report

    Trends in North Carolina’s County Road Conditions, 1998-2004

    posted December 7, 2004 by Dr. David Hartgen
    North Carolina has the second-largest state-owned road system in the US, almost 79,000 miles. A study in 2000 for the John Locke Foundation using data from 1998 showed that the system was in quite poor shape on key indicators. Clearly, North Carolina is losing the battle on road conditions. The purpose of this analysis is to update the earlier study by gathering and reporting on road conditions for each county and determining how conditions in each county have changed since 1998.
  • Research Report

    Truth on Teacher Shortage: Recruitment and retention a challenge, not a crisis

    posted November 3, 2004 by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek
    A recent report published by the NC Center for Public Policy Research concludes that North Carolina is facing a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention. But neither the data on projected student enrollment growth nor teacher retention rates justify such a harsh assessment. Clearly teacher recruitment and retention is a challenge that will always have to be met. The best approach is to reward those teachers who best foster achievement and to differentiate salaries among teachers according to supply and demand conditions in different disciplines.
  • Research Report

    Getting a Dell? Targeted Tax Breaks Don’t Increase Job Creation

    posted November 2, 2004 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    State lawmakers are scheduled to meet in Raleigh today to consider a package of tax breaks and other incentives designed to lure a Dell Computers plant to North Carolina. While politicians often portray such deals as necessary to promote growth and job creation, they serve to transfer resources from existing firms, sometimes even competitors, while failing to address tax and other problems afflicting businesses of all sizes in the state. A good place to start in improving the state’s business climate would be to reduce marginal tax rates.
  • Research Report

    The Tort of Medical Malpractice: Is It Time for Law Reform in North Carolina?

    posted October 19, 2004 by Michael I. Krauss
    N.C. is currently considering important modifications to its tort law, especially its application to medical malpractice. Proponents say it's the only way to ensure quality medical care remains affordable in N.C. Opponents say fluctuations in interest rates and the "insurance cycle" in general account for premium changes, and that tort reform would imperil the health of North Carolinians by "subsidizing" negligent physicians.
  • Research Report

    Cost-Effectiveness of North Carolina’s Major Road Projects

    posted October 5, 2004 by Dr. David Hartgen
    Major road projects are freeway and arterial widenings, new freeways and arterials, new exits, climbing lanes and other major actions that are large enough to likely affect growth. Between 1990 and early 2004, North Carolina constructed 349 major road projects costing about $7.34 billion, about 50 percent of the total expenditures for the TIP and Loop roads and about 1/3 of the total NC State highway program over the same period. This study reviews recent trends in North Carolina’s highway funding practices and the cost-effectiveness of these major capital actions.
  • Research Report

    School choice guide for NC parents

    posted September 13, 2004 by Research Staff
    Most Americans agree that public education is in trouble. While legislators and educators have tried to fix failing schools by increasing funding, expanding regulations, or intensifying requirements for teachers, these changes have only served to patch a broken system. Public education in America needs radical reinvention, and charter schools provide an effective and powerful way to transform the educational system.
  • Research Report

    Charter Schools in North Carolina: Innovation in Education

    posted September 13, 2004 by Research Staff
    From statehouses to corporate boardrooms to community centers, Americans are nearly universally aligned in support of transforming public education. Dismayed by overcrowding, low test scores, and high dropout rates, many people advocate overhauling the educational system in our country. Yet, however unified Americans may be on the need for educational reform, their perspectives diverge greatly on how to achieve it. Recent proposals have ranged from increasing federal funding, to requiring more stringent teacher accreditation, to lengthening school days and terms. Despite more than a decade of discussion, legislative proposals, and counterproposals, many problems remain. Yet, as public debate rages on, a group of concerned parents and educators, advocating freedom and change, is already quietly revolutionizing public education. The persistence of these reformers has resulted in a compelling alternative to traditional public schools — charter schools.
  • Research Report

    Clearing the Air in North Carolina: Pollution Myths and Realities

    posted August 30, 2004 by Joel Schwartz
    Just as North Carolina was on the verge of full compliance with EPA’s original ozone air pollution requirements, the standards were changed. In April 2004, most of the state once again was out of compliance. Policymakers and business leaders worry whether the state can meet the new federal requirements and avoid imposed limits on economic development and loss of federal transportation funds.

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