Carolina Journal Weekly Report

June 05, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of June 05, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s public schools have added administrators, consultants, and other nonclassroom staffers faster than they've added students this decade. That’s a key finding in a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.

“It’s important to keep this rapid growth of nonclassroom jobs in mind as N.C. House budget writers recommend cutting positions to help fill the state government’s budget hole,” said report author Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation Education Policy Analyst. “While North Carolina’s public school enrollment has grown about 13 percent since 2000, the number of school personnel has grown by nearly 18 percent. Much of that growth has been outside the classroom.”

In 2003, North Carolina public schools had eight students for every staff member, Stoops said. “By 2006, that number had dipped to seven students per staffer,” he said. “There’s one teacher for every 14 students, one teacher assistant for every 45 students, and one administrative position for every 167 students.”

Much of the growth in school personnel has no direct impact on classroom instruction, Stoops said. “Since 2000, North Carolina school districts have added 435 staffers known as ‘consultants’ or ‘supervisors,’ and they’ve added nearly 2,000 people with the even more vague designation of ‘other professionals.’”

A 2008 study from researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina highlights the importance of spending money in the classroom, Stoops said. “This study of North Carolina high school resource allocation found that the effect of total per pupil expenditures on student performance is very small,” he said. “Meanwhile, researchers found that money spent on regular classroom instruction would have a sizeable impact on student learning outcomes.”

News Features

CJ: Mystery group behind dam takeover bid
RALEIGH — A driving force behind the state’s effort to take over a central North Carolina hydroelectric project owned by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. is a mysterious group called the North Carolina Water Rights Committee. The panel is headed by Raleigh City Council member Nancy McFarlane. She has refused several Carolina Journal requests to be interviewed about her organization.

CJ: Ethanol firm officials plead guilty
RALEIGH — Two principals of a failed ethanol production company each pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to one count of conspiracy after a grand jury indicted them last year on charges also involving bribery, extortion, and perjury. They will return to court Aug. 31 for sentencing and could each receive up to five years in prison.

CJ: Greensboro hoping for stimulus dollars
GREENSBORO — The City of Greensboro desperately wants to finish the revitalization of the Ole Asheboro neighborhood on the south side of downtown. Finding the money to do so — especially during an economic downturn — is a totally different matter.

Annual NC conservative rally opposing new taxes
RALEIGH — “Joe the Plumber” says adding taxes on services - like plumbing, perhaps - isn’t the way to go in North Carolina. Samuel Wurzelbacher, who became a hero to some Republicans during the presidential campaign when he challenged Barack Obama on taxes, said Wednesday at a conservative rally that a tax on more services - such as those proposed by some General Assembly members - would only get passed on to consumers.

Apple says it will build NC data warehouse
RALEIGH — Apple Inc. announced Wednesday it would build a data center in North Carolina, two days after the state Legislature agreed to special tax breaks designed for the technology giant to invest $1 billion in the project. The confirmation that the maker of Macintosh computers, iPods and iPhones would build its East Coast data warehouse somewhere in the state came the same day Gov. Beverly Perdue signed the incentives bill targeting Apple into law.

Upcoming Events

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
The State of Our Constitution
with our special guests A Distinguished Panel of Experts
The North Carolina Constitution and Property Rights

Monday, June 08, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Becki Gray
State Government...So Who Cares? An Insider’s Look at the North Carolina General Assembly

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Triangle Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Becki Gray
Legislative Update: A Look Behind the Scenes at What Your State Legislature is Doing

Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
Down East Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Becki Gray
Legislative Update: A Look Behind the Scenes At What Your Legislators Are Doing

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

Capital Quotes

Who’s going to keep the highways clean if Haywood Correctional Center closes?
— The Haywood County Commission, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, in a resolution urging that the local state prison be kept open. Despite the state’s large budget deficit, it is proving political difficult to close small, inefficient prisons like the one in Haywood County.

I think it’s as dead as a doornail.
— House Minority Leader Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, D-Wake, describing to the Winston-Salem Journal the odds that the “North Carolina Racial Justice Act” will pass the House. The bill would allow the use of statistical data on race in previous cases to challenge the imposition of the death penalty.

He just got used.
Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, commenting to the Asheville Citizen-Times on Rep. Heath Shuler’s, D-11th, trip to Sri Lanka. While there, Shuler praised the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of refugees from its long-running civil war.

Attendance is up. Donations are down.
Paul Galloway, executive director of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, describing to the Raleigh News & Observer what impact the recession has had on the museum, which does not charge an admission fee.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Joe Coletti analyzes budget cuts being discussed by the N.C. House; Raleigh attorney Gene Boyce, Barton College historian Jeff Broadwater, Wake Forest political scientist John Dinan, and former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr discuss the state constitution and the power of taxation; Rep. Rick Glazier details a program to give public school systems budget flexibility; JLF’s Terry Stoops assesses Rep. Glazier’s proposal; and CJ Radio Co-hosts Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai banter about the legal and political implications of Judge Sonia Sotamayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court. 

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. Topics this week: The House budget and how it impacts our state; getting shortchanged on federal stimulus dollars; and the nasty battle over who will become the next GOP chairman. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former Secretary of State and Attorney General Rufus Edmisten; and former House Speaker Joe Mavretic.

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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