• Research Report

    Another Look at the Effect of Charter Schools on Student Test Scores in North Carolina

    posted April 10, 2005 by Craig M. Newmark
    A 2004 study on the academic impact and effectiveness of charter schools in North Carolina authored for the Terry Sanford Institute by Robert Bifulco and Helen Ladd reached some harsh conclusions regarding the performance of the charter schools. Using three different models that compare state end-of-grade (EOG) test scores for regular public school students and charter school students, Bifulco and Ladd conclude that North Carolina charter schools are not only failing to improve their students' academic performance, but are actually hurting it.
  • Research Report

    TEA-21’s Impact: Performance of State Highway Systems 1984-2003

    posted March 20, 2005 by Dr. David Hartgen
    TEA-211, the federal US transportation program passed in 1998, resulted in a substantial improvement in overall road performance but at considerable cost, according to the 14th annual review of state highways by Professor David T. Hartgen, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • Research Report

    Don’t Bet On It: A State Lottery Would Not Be an Alternative to Taxes

    posted March 9, 2005 by John Hood
    Supporters of a proposed government lottery argue that it would be a welcome alternative to raising state taxes to fund education. But there is no evidence to suggest that politicians in lottery states use the proceeds to reduce other taxes. They just allow state budgets to grow. Also, properly understood, a state-run lottery does increase taxes — it creates a government gambling monopoly and then levies a steep tax on it.
  • Research Report

    C’s are for Taxes: Temporary Taxes Yield Lower Grades

    posted March 7, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
    The state of North Carolina and our governor, Mike Easley, received mediocre grades on two recent report cards. Tax increases that were to be temporary when passed in 2001, but which continue in the governor's budget through at least 2006, contribute to the low grades. The additional tax bracket and half-cent sales tax will have added nearly $1.9 billion between their original sunset and July 2007, while Gov. Easley's additional taxes will bring almost as much in FY2006-07 alone.
  • Research Report

    New Year, New Taxes: Governor Seeks Nearly $1 Billion in New Spending

    posted February 24, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
    Governor Mike Easley says his budget for the 2005-2007 biennium is the model of fiscal prudence, but the numbers belie this. Spending increases nearly $1 billion to $16.9 billion. The governor claims $200 million in spending cuts, but they are far outweighed by the $741 billion in higher taxes. Tobacco Trust Fund transfers and unreserved credit balance close the rest of the $1.1 billion structural deficit. The General Assembly will need to be more forthright if it is to put real restraints on government growth.
  • Research Report

    The Budget Untouchables: Increased Spending Overwhelms Reported Cuts

    posted February 20, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
    Despite a $1.3 billion deficit, Gov. Mike Easley will propose up to 6 percent higher spending in his 2005-06 budget, even with small proposed savings in most agencies. Medicaid and education spending have grown rapidly, and will continue apace. Instead, the governor plans to keep the temporary half-cent sales tax and add a large cigarette tax to pay for higher spending. This is no way to address what the Fiscal Research Division calls a structural budget deficit.
  • Research Report

    Get Control of Medicaid: Bringing Costs Into Line Will Help State Budget

    posted February 1, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
    States have three direct policy levers to control Medicaid growth: eligibility, services, and payments. North Carolina’s mix of policies has led to some of the highest costs in the South, but the Blue Ribbon Commission on Medicaid Reform would make it even costlier. Tennessee and Mississippi, the two Southern states with higher per capita costs in 2000, have since made significant changes. Georgia and Virginia present different ways to reduce costs, while a 2001 report for the General Assembly presented largely unexploited savings.
  • Research Report

    By The Numbers 2005: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties

    posted January 15, 2005 by Michael Lowrey
    County and municipal governments provide many key services while taking in billions in revenue. Their roles grow ever greater as state government shifts more taxing power to localities to make up for money kept by the state. Still, finding comparative data is hard. That's why this report provides information of how much local government costs in every city and county in NC.

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