• John Locke Update

    Redistricting Dilemmas: If You Ain’t Packing Asheville, You’re Cracking Asheville

    posted October 11, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    One 2019 lawsuit successfully changed Asheville being packed into one district, while another 2019 lawsuit successfully challenged Asheville being split across districts. Buncombe County will have three North Carolina House districts, and either packing Asheville into one district or spreading it across three could subject the map to a lawsuit. A compromise would be to have most of Asheville split between two House districts while having the third district represent rural parts of Buncombe County.
  • John Locke Update

    Redistricting Dilemmas: Legislators Must Either Split Fayetteville or Surround It

    posted September 29, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    The geography of Cumberland and Moore counties will force legislators to make tough choices when drawing North Carolina Senate districts for them. Legislators could draw relatively compact districts, but at the expense of splitting Fayetteville. Keeping Fayetteville together would help North Carolina comply with the Voting Rights Act.
  • John Locke Update

    Redistricting Dilemmas: All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men Cannot Put Caldwell County Back Together Again

    posted September 20, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    Caldwell County leaders do not want the county to be split in redistricting, and the county has political clout. Despite that, Caldwell County is certainly going to be split between state Senate districts and may be split between state House districts. Caldwell County’s redistricting predicament demonstrates how the constraints of law and geography limit how legislators can draw districts.
  • John Locke Update

    What “County Clusters” Mean for North Carolina’s Redistricting Process

    posted September 10, 2021 by Dr. Andy Jackson
    North Carolina’s unique county clustering process is a way of balancing constitutional requirements of keeping counties whole and having equal populations of legislative districts. The county clustering process is simple in principle but can be complex in application. The whole county provision of the North Carolina State Constitution and redistricting criteria adopted by the General Assembly substantially influence how districts can be drawn within county clusters.
  • John Locke Update

    Should North Carolina Restore Salary Supplements for Master’s Degrees?

    posted August 26, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    The state House budget would restore salary supplements for public school educators with a master’s degree. Decades of empirical research failed to establish a relationship between master’s degrees and student performance. Possible research-based compromises include restoring master’s pay for teachers who obtain their degrees in their teaching subject or supporting teachers who pursue National Board Certification.
  • John Locke Update

    An Overview of the N.C. House Education Budget

    posted August 12, 2021 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    House budget writers proposed a $25.7 billion biennial budget that would grant an average 5.5% raise to teachers and give multiple bonuses. The House budget would expand private school choice and ease regulations on public charter schools. Lawmakers propose extensive measures to augment academic transparency and accountability.
  • John Locke Update

    House Budget Plan Features Tax Cuts, Assertive Infrastructure Spending, and Pay Raises

    posted August 11, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The House budget plan, per previous agreement, would spend about the same total amount as the Senate plan. Differences exist, however, primarily with a less aggressive tax cut plan and more aggressive pay raises to teachers and state employees. Similar to the Senate plan, the House proposal would set aside significant funds in the Savings Reserve and Capital Infrastructure funds.
  • John Locke Update

    A Closer Look at Education in the Senate Budget Plan

    posted June 23, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    The Senate budget plan would address current education spending needs, increase salaries for teachers and education personnel and offer bonuses, and increase all steps of base teacher salaries. It would also expand eligibility for Opportunity Scholarships, raise the value of the scholarships, and increase the annual payment to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve. These are steps in the right direction, but the budget needs to be more responsive to parents seeking additional educational options and other ways to redress the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the education of our children.

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