Carolina Journal Weekly Report

February 27, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of February 27, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — An average North Carolina public school teacher draws more than $59,000 in annual compensation — $4,000 more than an average peer across the country. That’s the conclusion of the John Locke Foundation’s latest annual report on teacher pay.

“Adjusted for pension contributions, teacher experience, and cost of living, North Carolina’s adjusted annual teacher compensation is $59,252, high enough for North Carolina to rank No. 14 in the United States,” said report author Terry Stoops, JLF Education Policy Analyst. “That’s $4,086 higher than the U.S. adjusted average and $674 higher than the average of states ranked by the Southern Regional Education Board. These numbers refute the cliche that North Carolina has underpaid schoolteachers who are victims of miserly, unappreciative, and ignorant taxpayers.”

Teachers have fared far better than other government employees in recent decades, Stoops said. “North Carolina's average teacher pay nearly doubled between 1988 and 2008 — climbing by 93 percent," he said. "On the other hand, state employees had pay increases totaling nearly 56 percent.”

The report recommends that North Carolina leaders shift their focus away from across-the-board teacher pay raises. “Despite multimillion-dollar increases in teacher pay, it has become clear that across-the-board raises unrelated to performance serve to reward both good teachers and mediocre ones, thus doing little to help students learn,” Stoops said. “A recent study from the University of Arkansas points to merit pay for teachers as one education reform that shows promise for raising student achievement.”

Now is the time to begin implementing a comprehensive teacher pay program that attracts and rewards excellence, Stoops said. “Education leaders can look at Guilford County’s Mission Possible as an excellent model for what a high-quality merit pay program should look like.”

News Features

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Area Transit system will scale back some routes in an attempt to counter three major decreases in funding, department officials said in January. Though buses will take the brunt of the reduction, the new light-rail train system also will be cut during peak hours. All told, CATS hopes to reduce its operating costs by $8 million in the next two fiscal years.

CJ: Back to school
CHARLOTTE — If buying a car, understanding your child’s text speak, or identifying predatory lending practices are not your strong points, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system has some news for you: Class is in session. In its second semester, Parent University is CMS’s effort to educate parents about kid- and grownup issues alike.

CJ: Roger Bacon Academy leads the way with basics
RALEIGH — A rural school named for a 13th century cleric is one of the largest charter schools in North Carolina. Despite low funding and an economically disadvantaged demographic, the school’s test scores run above state and local averages, drawing interest from education leaders in other states. The founder, though, says the school’s success is simply a matter of observing what works and scrupulously pursuing it.

Duke energy plan accepted in part
CHARLOTTE — The N.C. Utilities Commission approved Thursday the energy-efficiency measures sought by Duke Energy under its controversial Save-a-Watt plan, but the commission rejected the accounting procedures Duke had proposed. Duke’s plan fared worse in South Carolina, where the Public Service Commission rejected Save-a-Watt on Wednesday, saying the proposal is too complex and could reap Duke unreasonably high profits.

Perdue: Last leg of I-485 is on faster track
CHARLOTTE — Construction on the last segment of Interstate 485 should begin by the end of the year – six years ahead of the current construction schedule, Gov. Bev Perdue said Tuesday. In a surprise announcement, Perdue and Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said federal stimulus money could pay for part of the highway, which would complete Charlotte’s often-delayed 65-mile loop.

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 02, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Justin Catanoso
My Cousin the Saint, a Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Triangle Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Thursday, March 05, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Triad Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 3 p.m.
Sandhills Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Piedmont Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

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

Capital Quotes

Property rights are important, but your health rights are more important.
— Rep. Jeff Barnhart, R-Cabarrus, as quoted by the Associated Press on a bill to ban smoking in public places.

I’ve cut things I never thought I’d cut.
— Gov. Bev Perdue, as quoted by the Associated Press, on attempting to balance the state budget.

We’re funding a superintendent in every one of those systems, and that’s silly. That’s a waste of money.
— Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, discussing his proposal with the Fayetteville Observer to make the 15 city school districts in the state merge with their county districts.

It’s not 170 of us sitting around looking at each other.
— Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about his bill to sent the General Assembly home for three weeks after members are sworn in and leaders elected so that administrative matters like committee and room assignments can be worked out. The current session of the General Assembly is in its fourth week, and little substantive work has been conducted so far.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Chad Adams discusses the cost of local government as detailed in the new By The Numbers report; JLF’s Terry Stoops reacts to comments on education spending by Rep. Joe Hackney and Sen. Marc Basnight; Sen. Martin Nesbitt expresses concerns over Gov. Perdue’s changes to education
leadership; Stacie Rumenap of Stop Child Predators discusses how to keep kids safe from Internet predators; and Brian Balfour of the Civitas Institute explains his proposal to dissolve the Golden Leaf Foundation and transfer the assets to the General Fund.

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. Topic this week: The North Carolina Constitution. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former House Speaker Joe Mavretic; and former Justice Robert Orr, Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Law.

At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Also available on the web at


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