Carolina Journal Weekly Report

July 10, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of July 10, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — A $5,000 scholarship would cover the yearly tuition of the average private elementary day school in North Carolina, while $6,000 would take care of average high school tuition. Those are two key facts collected in a new John Locke Foundation Policy Report assessing a first-of-its-kind survey of the state’s private schools.

“Since the average per pupil expenditure in the North Carolina public schools totaled $9,370 in 2007-08, it’s good to have information to make cost comparisons with the state’s private school options,” said report author Terry Stoops, JLF Education Policy Analyst. “Better information about North Carolina’s private schools is the first step toward persuading legislators to increase educational options for North Carolina families.”

Parents need the information as well, Stoops said. “North Carolina families are beginning to recognize that finding alternatives to public schools may be the only way to guarantee that children receive a quality education.”

The JLF survey aimed to gather and analyze data on private schools that generally have not been available to the public, Stoops said. Questions covered academics, the student population, personnel, finances, and private school leaders’ attitudes about school choice. “The survey and this new report mark first steps in a larger effort to correct decades-old misconceptions and prejudices about private schools.”

News Features

CJ: Easley sees education legacy at risk
RALEIGH — Six months after leaving office, former Gov. Mike Easley’s legacy as an “education governor” is beginning to crumble under the twin pressures of an economy in recession and legislative indifference. Some of his key education initiatives, popular with budget writers and educators alike during times of plenty, have been targeted for reduction or outright elimination as the economy forces legislators to prioritize.

CJ: Wake School Board not told about Black settlement
RALEIGH – The Wake County School Board learned of imprisoned former House Speaker Jim Black’s offer to use some undeveloped Mecklenburg County real estate to settle a criminal corruption fine after the deal went through, said school board chair Kevin Hill.

Negotiations keep going on state budget
RALEIGH — Legislative leaders tried to accelerate North Carolina state budget negotiations Thursday by preparing to remain in Raleigh while their colleagues go home for the weekend. House Democrats planned to keep working with Senate counterparts later Thursday and Friday, and could remain this weekend if enough differences are narrowed, Speaker Joe Hackney said.

Committee OKs $750K Beach Plan coverage limit
RALEIGH — A state House committee seeking a fix for an underfunded coastal insurance program on Thursday backed cutting the current coverage maximum of $1.5 million per home by half. The House Finance Committee rejected a bid to retain the current limit the Beach Plan would pay for primary homes in the 18 coastal counties where the plan is a vital insurance provider.

Economist: N.C. unemployment rate to hit 13%
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s unemployment rate, already one of the highest in the country at 11.1 percent, will “peak” at 13 percent in the first quarter of 2010 before it begins to improve, North Carolina State University economist Michael Walden predicted Monday. In his “North Carolina Economic Outlook” report, Walden said that “an emerging consensus” points to an economic rebound beginning “in late 2009 or 2010.”

Upcoming Events

Monday, July 13, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest HansMarc Hurd
Iran after the Election: The Future of the Islamic Republic.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 at Noon
Health Care Policy Luncheon Briefing
with our special guests Consumer-Driven Health Care Experts
What All Business Owners Need To Know: Why Consumer-Driven Health Care Is the Only Way to Reform U.S. Health Care

Monday, August 03, 2009 at August 3-August 7
Appalachian Institution Retreat
with our special guest Dr. Michael A. Gillespie
"The Noble, The Good and The Free"

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

Capital Quotes

I would be too, I would join in with the public.
— Senate leader Marc Basnight, D-Dare, commenting to the Greensboro News & Record on whether the public would believe that an additional “temporary” 1 percent sales tax proposed by Gov. Bev Perdue is as temporary as the governor suggests. Basnight notes that state residents are still paying part of a “temporary” sales tax imposed in 2001.

Since when has fighting City Hall been called a level-playing field?
— Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, as quoted by the Greensboro News & Record, questioning a proposal to allow local governments to recover their legal fees in failed open government lawsuits against them. The proposal was narrowly defeat.

Good intentions are not enough when you legislate.
— House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on a report showing the state wasted $635.3 million on community mental health services because of poor planning and implementation.

It’s like kudzu.
— Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, describing the ability of video poker to continue to reappear in the state to the Greensboro News & Record.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Michael Sanera discusses the push for high-speed railin N.C.; NC State professor Andy Taylor explains why the Sotamayor nomination raises concerns for supporters of constitutional government; Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity says legislators should scrap plans for tax hikes; JLF’s Michael Lowrey discusses the impact of airline industry changes on N.C.; and JLF’s Terry Stoops unveils data about N.C.’s private schools. 

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: A possible top to bottom evaluation of our university system; our state becoming more moderate; and our citizen legislature. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; political consultant Brad Crone; and former NC Speaker Joe Maverick.

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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