• Research Report

    Reforming the Sales Tax: Keep in mind liberty, prosperity, and sound principles of taxation

    posted July 11, 2010 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Over the past year the focus of North Carolina’s Joint Legislative Committee on Tax Reform has been almost exclusively on whether to expand North Carolina’s sales tax to include services. Following sound principles of tax reform, however, the focus should be on whether the tax base is what economists call neutral, and whether the tax conforms with the principles of justice, rooted in a respect for liberty and freedom of choice. At a combined average state and local rate of 7.98 percent, North Carolina’s sales tax rate is virtually tied with Tennessee’s rate of 8 percent as the highest in the Southeast.
  • Research Report

    Survey of End-of-Course Test Questions: Many college and university faculty are concerned about the quality of state standardized tests

    posted July 5, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Between February and April 2010, the John Locke Foundation asked over 500 college and university faculty to evaluate selected test questions from North Carolina’s 2008-2009 end-of-course high school civics and economics and U.S. history tests. This study provides an overview of the responses from both the mailed and online surveys.
  • Research Report

    Charter School Diversity: Too black, too white, or just right?

    posted May 19, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    A state law that mandates racial/ethnic balance for charter schools contradicts another law that requires charter schools to use an enrollment lottery when applicants outnumber available seats. It is impossible for charter schools to use random (lottery) and non-random (affirmative action) student selection mechanisms simultaneously.
  • Research Report

    By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2008

    posted March 28, 2010 by Michael Lowrey
    County and municipal governments provide many key services while taking in billions of dollars in revenue. Their roles grow as state government keeps more local funding sources and shifts more taxing power to localities. Still, finding comparative data is difficult. This report helps address that problem by providing information of how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    Zero Tolerance for Charter Schools: The State Board of Education should regard all public schools as equals

    posted February 2, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Under the new “Revocation of Charter for Lack of Academic Performance” policy, only low-performing charter schools are subject to closure by the NC State Board of Education. There is no equivalent policy for district schools. This study asks the question: How many public schools would close if the state instituted the policy three years ago and applied to charter and district schools alike?
  • Research Report

    Parent-Friendly Schools, 2009: How ‘parent-friendly’ are school districts in North Carolina?

    posted November 29, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    North Carolina’s school districts are not parent-friendly organizations. While a handful of school districts fare reasonably well in the final ranking, the highest score was a 3.4, or a B+. School districts in western North Carolina generally fared very well in the ranking, while the Triad, Triangle, Charlotte, and northeastern regions fared poorly. Seven of the top ten school districts are located in western North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    Crucial Questions: A Checklist for School Board Candidates and Citizens

    posted September 2, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    According to the North Carolina General Statutes, school boards have three broad functions: 1) to maintain general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools, 2) to enforce and execute the school law, and 3) to ensure that the administration of schools is efficiently and more economically accomplished. To simplify the process of understanding the work of school boards, the John Locke Foundation has developed a checklist for school board candidates and citizens.
  • Research Report

    Ten Myths about North Carolina’s Private Schools: A Parent’s Guide

    posted July 29, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    This guide is a first step in a larger effort to correct decades-old misconceptions about North Carolina's private schools. In the spring of 2009, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of all private schools in North Carolina. Much of the information below comes from responses to the questionnaire.
  • Research Report

    Building a Case for School Choice: Initial Results from a Survey of North Carolina’s Private Schools

    posted June 28, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Better information about North Carolina’s private schools is the first step toward persuading legislators and policymakers to increase educational options for North Carolina families. To this end, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of North Carolina’s private schools to gather and analyze data on private schools generally not available to the public. This policy report provides a descriptive overview of questionnaire results of North Carolina’s private schools, focusing on private school academics, students, personnel, finance, and attitudes toward school choice.

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