• Research Report

    ABC Results Misleading: Locke Analysis: Half of N.C. Schools Get

    posted August 16, 2001 by Michael Lowrey, John Hood
    Despite hype to the contrary from state officials, the just-released 1997-98 ABC test results showed once again how poor the level of public education in North Carolina remains. Rating schools on the basis of student achievement, the Locke Foundation found that only 1 percent of public schools deserved an "A" for imparting grade-level skills to at least 90 percent of students. Fully half the schools received a "D" or "F."On average, only 66 percent of public school students tested at grade level — with far worse results on more rigorous national tests.
  • Research Report

    Smart Start Loses Gloss: New Studies Question Effectiveness, Finances

    posted August 10, 2001 by John Hood
    Since it was proposed by Gov. Jim Hunt in 1993, Smart Start has generated statewide and even national attention for its intriguing promise of combining public and private resources to boost educational achievement through early intervention. But two recent studies, one of its finances and the other of its effectiveness as an educational investment, challenge Smart Start's extravagant claims of success. The program has attracted little support from the private sector, and does not significantly improve the educational attainment of most preschoolers.
  • Research Report

    Sales Tax Hike Kills Jobs: Plan Could Raise Jobless Rate, Cut Border Sales

    posted July 10, 2001 by John Hood
    A plan to increase North Carolina's sales tax by up to one penny, with a corresponding reduction in tax reimbursements to local governments, could endanger the state's economic recovery and threaten tens of thousands of jobs. No change in expected revenue growth or threat to the state's bond rating would have consequences severe enough to justify a $400 to $800 million tax hike on families and businesses whose tax burden is already the highest in the Southeast.
  • Research Report

    Competition in Electric Power: Strategies For Reform

    posted June 30, 2001 by John Hood
    Author Doug Bandow looks at the ways in which government intervention into the provision of electric power has harmed consumers, and he recommends ways to make the system more competitive. (62 pages-not available online.)
  • Research Report

    Best of Both Budgets:

    posted June 26, 2001 by John Hood
    Budget negotiations between the House and Senate typically lead to higher spending, as each side accepts all or part of an item the other wants. Another approach would be to accept only spending common to both budgets, a "reverse logrolling" that lets government expand only when a consensus exists to do so. For FY 2000-01, this approach would save nearly $200 million for future state employee benefit reforms and raise operating spending by only 3.8 percent.
  • Research Report

    Framing the Budget Debate: House Plan Reduces State Savings, Increases Risk

    posted June 20, 2001 by John Hood
    Putting the House's FY 2000-01 budget into proper perspective requires careful consideration of how spending should be measured and how it has changed over time. Furthermore, proposed changes in how the payroll and teacher bonuses are budgeted are more than just accounting gimmicks. They represent a net reduction in state savings. The bottom line for taxpayers: if current trends continue, state leaders will be setting the stage for tax increases in the near future.
  • Research Report

    Sidetracked: Transit and Transportation Policy in North Carolina

    posted March 31, 2001 by Michael Lowrey, John Hood
    Co-authors Michael Lowrey and Jonathan C. Jordan examine North Carolina transportation policy and recommend ways of improving it without resorting to more taxation, regulation, and government control. (38 pages-not available online.)
  • Research Report

    Triage for Medicaid

    posted March 6, 2001 by John Hood
    Among the major causes of this year's $800 million state budget deficit is a $108 million increase in projected Medicaid spending. After a brief period of slow growth in the late-1990s, North Carolina's Medicaid program is now a significant threat to the state's long-term fiscal health. It is also the most expensive Medicaid program in the South. The state should enact reforms in eligibility and benefits which could save taxpayers at least $251 million a year.

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