Carolina Journal Weekly Report

September 18, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of September 18, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — School board candidates across North Carolina will need more than just a standard “for the children” campaign speech this year, thanks to a new, easy-to-use checklist from the John Locke Foundation.

“We know you’re ‘for the children’ and you want to ‘protect the classroom,’ but what does that really mean?" asked Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation Education Policy Analyst. “This new checklist will help school board candidates, parents, and all voters determine where the candidates stand on important public education issues.”

The John Locke Foundation is unveiling the checklist as the 2009 school board campaign season hits full stride across North Carolina. In just 10 pages, the checklist compiles a list of 28 yes/no questions for voters and candidates to consult.

Some questions focus on school instruction, while others target areas such as school personnel, attendance and school calendar issues, school facilities, finances, student retention and conduct, and community involvement.

“People using the checklist will find some simple questions: Does the school board fully support charter schools?” Stoops asked. “Does the school system post checkbook registers and invoices on its Web site?”

News Features

CJ: Lawyers can’t be made to fund judicial campaigns
RALEIGH — In what many are calling a victory for First Amendment protections, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled Aug. 10 that the State Bar cannot compel individual attorneys to fund the campaigns of judicial candidates for the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court by means of a special $50 surcharge.

CJ: Onus of increased class size on school boards
RALEIGH — A last-minute, face-saving deal on class size allowed Gov. Beverly Perdue to shift blame for the loss of teaching positions in this year’s budget from Raleigh down to local school boards and superintendents. The deal, however, created headaches for administrators trying to figure out how many teachers they could really afford to hire mere days before the school year began.

CJ: Community college changes affect high-schoolers
RALEIGH — Politics makes strange bedfellows. It also makes for some strange policy. While political leaders are calling for greater participation in community colleges, the budget recently enacted by the General Assembly has actually reduced access to longstanding programs allowing many high school students to begin college work early. With the state’s 11 percent unemployment rate driving adult students back to the classroom, high-schoolers are finding fewer opportunities to build their own resumes at local community colleges.

Easley probe broadens
RALEIGH — A federal grand jury sought information Thursday from two state environmental officials who handled permits on the Cannonsgate land project, a development in coastal Carteret County where former Gov. Mike Easley acquired a waterfront lot in 2005. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it would not be appropriate for the officials to comment on any testimony.

Appeals court overrules Easley budget transfers
RALEIGH — North Carolina courts weighed in again on how far a governor can go to balance the state’s budget, ruling Tuesday that former Gov. Mike Easley was wrong to transfer $80 million from a road-building fund to pay for other government operations. In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled the state constitution doesn’t allow a governor to transfer money appropriated by the General Assembly for one purpose and use it for another purpose without legislative approval.

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Triad Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Can You Find Out What You Want To Know About Your Child's School? Transparency and the North Carolina K-12 Education System

Monday, September 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Dr. Jay Hamilton
What are the Prospects for Nonprofit Newspapers?

Monday, September 28, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Can You Find Out What You Want To Know About Your Child's School? Transparency and the North Carolina K-12 Education System

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at Noon
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest Michael Barone
Obama's America--Working Out As Planned?

Thursday, October 08, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.
The State of Our Constitution: The North Carolina Constitution and Education
with our special guests North Carolina Education and Constitutional Law Experts
The North Carolina Constitution and Education

Thursday, October 08, 2009 at Noon
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest Cal Thomas
A Look at the Washington Political Scene

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

Capital Quotes

The whole economic prosperity of the United States depends on the education of the next generation.
— State Treasurer Janet Cowell, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, on voting as a member of the State Board of Community Colleges to allow illegal immigrants to take classes at the state’s community colleges. Under the  policy the board approved, illegal immigrants would be allowed to take class but would pay out-of-state tuition rates and have lower priority to get into popular classes than those here legally.

I think we’ve gone beyond the place where we ask, ‘What is the purpose of the control key on a computer?’
June Atkinson, state schools superintendent, as quoted by the Greensboro News & Record, on the state dropping a requirement that students pass a ccomputer skills test to obtain a high school diploma.

The local boards don’t have consistent agreement on why they’re there and what they’re doing.
Jon Williams, appointed head the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on local ABC boards.

The housing numbers are keeping your overall outlook from being worse than it is. The employment and output numbers are pretty grim.
Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, talking to the Greensboro News & Record about the economic outlook for the state’s three largest urban areas.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Terry Stoops discusses fingerpointing over money between state and local education officials; U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr comment on the health care debate; breast cancer survivor Tracy Walsh explains her fear of a government-run health care system; Mark McNeilly explains how the principles spelled out in Art of War apply to the business world; and JLF’s Roy Cordato discusses the state’s positive air quality news.

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 uncivil level of civil discourse in our state; the good news and bad news from census data; the spread of gambling; and Elaine Marshall’s bid to unseat Senator Richard Burr. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; Charlotte Mayor and former gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory; and Elaine Mejia, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center.

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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