Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Progressive Voices Top Story

Key demands of education marchers could soon find their way into state court

Recommendations of court-appointed expert in Leandro case expected to echo, amplify educators' agenda If the May 1 action in support for public schools doesn’t convince North Carolina administrators and policymakers to change course on our education policies, maybe the report from the court-appointed expert in the now 25-year old Leandro litigation—due at the end of May— will.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Superintendent Johnson uses new website to gaslight educators

Under North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study, 6th graders are expected to understand the difference between the average and median of a distribution of numbers. So the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mark Johnson, is certainly aware that you should never compare the median of one data set to the average of another data set.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Saving us from ourselves: PW special report is a reminder that dramatically tougher environmental regulation is essential for human survival

It’s easy enough to understand the kind of thinking that goes into ignoring the dire environmental crises that currently afflict our state, nation and planet. Most, if not all, of us fall prey to it every day when we leave our empty homes with the heat and or air conditioning churning away and fire up our fossil fuel burning vehicles in order to idle in a fast food drive-through line to buy a sandwich that features meat produced in a polluting industrial farm.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Why teachers care about Medicaid expansion

There is a reasonable question being asked about the inclusion of Medicaid expansion in NCAE’s legislative priorities for the May 1st Day of Action. If kids are already covered, why do teachers want to expand coverage for NC families? The answer is simple - working with kids every day, we naturally see the link between the overall health and well-being of the family and how well a child will grow in the classroom.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

While U.S. states push to criminalize abortion, other countries are liberalizing laws

Abortion is not a crime, yet the North Carolina General Assembly just came a step closer to making it one with the recent controversial abortion bill that Gov. Cooper rightly vetoed. Let’s be real: the bill was an outrageous attempt to criminalize the doctors and nurses who provide abortion care and erect a huge barrier for people seeking it.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Burr’s “I can’t remember” explanation of Mueller Report revelation strains credulity

Throughout his long and mostly uninspired political career, Richard Burr has filled the role of a classic, inoffensive, modern day American politician. Burr is reasonably telegenic, has an affinity for platitudes, remains an enigma to his constituents, is a reliable vote for the ruling class and, after a quarter century in Washington, appears to enjoy life in the nation’s capital.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Proposals to close the health insurance coverage gap should follow the data on what actually works

North Carolina’s dubious ranking of having the 10th highest rate of uninsured people in the nation continues to play out across the state in ways that challenge our collective well-being and community stability, even as it leads to worse health outcomes and diminished livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of our neighbors.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Two competing tax cut proposals symbolize the ideological debate in NC

There are a lot of important public policy issues right now in North Carolina on which right and left diverge in fundamental ways. Medicaid expansion and health care, reproductive freedom, gun violence, education spending, climate change and environmental protection, public transportation, voting rights, immigration policy: the list is a long one. If, however, one were forced to select a single debate that really captures the essence of the ideological divide...

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Billy Ball Commentary Original Commentary Top Story

Teachers to march again in Raleigh, but some lawmakers seem to be missing the message

We know Sen. Phil Berger, perhaps the most powerful lawmaker in North Carolina politics, can speak. If there’s a piece of legislation in the last five to ten years that advanced without the Big Berger’s caustic input, I can’t name it.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at taxes and who pays what in North Carolina

Today is Tax Day. It’s a day that many Americans have come to instinctively dread, but here are a couple of important facts worth remembering today: Number One: much as we all might wish it weren’t so, taxes and the widespread adherence to paying them are what sets our country apart...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Cynical, hypocritical, dangerous: Proposal to force cooperation with ICE is Trumpism at its worst

The nation is more than two years into its destructive dalliance with Trumpism, but new and toxic waves of regressive policy continue to ooze across the national landscape. For a recent and disturbing example in North Carolina, check out proposed legislation advanced by Republicans in the state House last week that would require all of the state’s 100 sheriff’s departments to act as an extension of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Flawed classroom supplies legislation is based on lawmaker’s false premise

Last Wednesday, Superintendent Mark Johnson was joined by important members of the House and Senate for what they promised would be “a major announcement regarding education in North Carolina.” While the hype for the announcement was major, the announcement itself was a dud. The “major announcement” was a plan to divert funding for classroom supplies from school districts to an app that would give every teacher $400 to spend on classroom supplies.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the destructive impact of work requirements and premiums for Medicaid recipients

Despite years of obstruction by Republican leaders in the General Assembly, North Carolina seems to be inching, ever so slowly, in the direction of expanding eligibility for Medicaid health insurance under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Cooper has made expansion a key component of his proposed state budget...

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