Carolina Journal Weekly Report

January 18, 2013

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of January 18, 2013 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Potential charter school operators, including two that would operate online, flooded the state with 154 letters of intent to open in fall 2014, punctuating a growing appetite for alternatives to traditional public education, reports Carolina Journal.

But some education observers worry that the State Board of Education is signaling an eagerness to impose more regulations that would defeat the innovation that makes charters an attractive option for parents.

Critics contend that regulations just rolled out by the State Board of Education for digital distance-learning providers are more restrictive than necessary, and that the board’s “unprecedented” refusal to allow a Pamlico County charter to add high school grades to its class offerings is “worrisome.”

“We were expecting quite a few, [but 154] was not what we were expecting,” Joel Medley, director of North Carolina’s Office of Charter Schools, said of the huge volume of letters of intent received by the Jan. 4 deadline. Formal applications are due by noon, March 1. (Initial reports said 161 applications were filed, but that number was overstated because of a database glitch.)

“One of the things that we did not expect was as many as we saw in Mecklenburg County,” from which there were 30 applications, including the two virtual schools, Medley said. Multiple letters of intent also were sent from the Greensboro and Raleigh areas.

“There were even some in smaller counties that currently do not have charter schools, so there is a possibility of breaking some new ground in some new areas,” Medley said.

News Features

CJ: Little apparent payoff for research campus
KANNAPOLIS — Tomatoes that don’t rot for a year; sunscreen made from watermelons; and super-cancer-fighting broccoli: These are but a few of the wonders on display at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

CJ: New State Bar building underwritten (in part) by lawyers
RALEIGH — The North Carolina State Bar expects to complete its $18 million office in downtown Raleigh by March. But some legal observers have raised red flags over its capital campaign through a proxy foundation seeking high-dollar donations from lawyers to help pay for construction.

CJ: Two make pitch for Democratic party chairman
CHAPEL HILL — Two men who want to lead the N.C. Democratic Party — former state Sen. Eric Mansfield of Cumberland County and Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller — made their case Wednesday night before about 125 party faithful during a town hall gathering in this university town.

CJ: Rally urges GOP officials to nullify Obamacare
RALEIGH — As state lawmakers made their way back to work Jan. 9, they faced nearly 200 protesters on the lawn in front of the General Assembly building. The message from the demonstrators to the incoming legislators – some seasoned, some newly elected: “Honor Your Oaths: Nullify Now!

AG says immigrants eligible for NC driver’s licenses
RALEIGH — The state Attorney General’s office said Thursday that young illegal immigrants participating in an Obama administration program blocking deportation for two years should be eligible for driving privileges in North Carolina.

Upcoming Events

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. John Hubisz
"Energy: What is It and How Do We Promote a Better Understanding of It?"

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
JLF 23rd Anniversary Gala Event
with our special guest Stuart Varney
JLF 23rd Anniversary Event with Fox Business News Anchor Stuart Varney

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

Capital Quotes

We will get a tax reform bill this session.
— Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, as quoted by the Associated Press, talking to reporters about the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

I still think that overall spending in North Carolina is probably higher than it needs to be.
Phil Berger, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking about the state budget.

We’re going to have to be smart about how we do this.
— Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, chairman of the House Election Law Committee, talking to the Associated Press about the General Assembly possibly enacting a voter ID law.

That’s kind of an eyesore.
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, commenting to the Wilmington Star-News about an opening an unfilled federal judgeship in the Eastern District of North Carolina. The seat has been vacant since 2005, the longest opening for a federal judgeship in the country.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson discusses Gov. McCrory’s first executive order; NC State economist Mike Walden offers a 2013 forecast; JLF’s John Hood on N.C.’s role in the American Revolution; key McCrory appointees share their vision; and JLF’s Terry Stoops analyzes why so many N.C. graduates are unprepared for community college.

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: Education priorities; unemployment benefits; and school safety. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; columnist Cash Michaels; and broadcaster Henry Hinton.


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