Audit found Medicaid owed $350 million, while DHHS officials said program had surplus

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Lawmakers heard Monday that the state’s massive Medicaid program was in the hole at the end of last year’s fiscal year, despite prior statements by state health officials that the program finished that year with a surplus. The Medicaid program had $350 million in liabilities for 2013-14, not the surplus of $63.4 million [Continue Reading…]


Politicians took in more than $1 million from UNC Board of Governor hopefuls

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The candidates seeking appointments on the University of North Carolina’s governing board aren’t strangers to lawmakers – many of their names have repeatedly shown up on checks cashed to the politicians’ campaign accounts. The 30 people currently vying for appointment to the board and their immediate family members have contributed more than $1 million to [Continue Reading…]


Effort to “right-size” the UNC system in the works

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Significant changes may be on the horizon for the state’s higher education network, as the University of North Carolina’s governing board considers “right-sizing” the 17-campus system. “The model should be much smaller than it is,” UNC Board of Governor member Harry Smith Jr. said about the UNC system last Thursday, during [Continue Reading…]


UNC Poverty Center facing closure, as university system leaders finish review of centers

Jim Holmes of the UNC Board of Governors talks Wednesday with Ted Shaw of UNC's civil rights center.

Three centers in the university system – including a poverty research center run by an outspoken law professor —   should be shut down, according to recommendations approved Wednesday by a special committee of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was the most well-known among the three [Continue Reading…]


Fewer education majors, and worries about where tomorrow’s teachers will come from

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Finding teachers for North Carolina’s classrooms may be an increasingly difficult endeavor, as the ranks of those looking to become teachers dwindles. North Carolina’s public university system saw a steep enrollment decline in the last four years in undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, amounting to a 27 percent drop from 2010 to 2014. [Continue Reading…]


Virtual charter schools inch closer to approval

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The State Board of Education had tough questions Wednesday for two for-profit virtual education companies in line to receive millions in public money to teach children through their home computers. Both applicants for a legislatively-mandated pilot program, N.C. Connections Academy and N.C. Virtual Academy, will be governed by a non-profit board of directors, [Continue Reading…]


Virtual charter schools on path to opening in North Carolina

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North Carolina schoolchildren may be attending classes on their home computers next year, after a state education committee moved the applications of two proposed virtual charter schools forward Wednesday. The State Board of Education, which sets education policy in the state, will take up the applications of two virtual charter schools at their [Continue Reading…]


UNC centers questioned about “diversity of opinion”

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With threats of possible cuts looming, several academic centers faced scrutiny Thursday from a group of the UNC Board of Governors wondering, among other things, why more conservative viewpoints weren’t explored at the centers. The liveliest exchanges during the two days of presentations from 34 centers under review came Thursday between UNC Board [Continue Reading…]


New economic development group starts up, but private donors’ identities still unknown

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North Carolina handed off its job recruitment efforts to a newly established public-private partnership last week, in hopes that privatizing much of the state’s economic development work will bring more jobs to the state. Just a week into operation, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina is already struggling with questions about transparency [Continue Reading…]


How accessible should conflict-of-interest forms be? N.C. Ethics Commission to decide

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North Carolina’s ethics commission pulled the plug this summer on an online database of public officials’ financial disclosure forms as it wrestles with questions about what information should be accessible with a click of a computer mouse. The commission, established in 2006 after the state saw a series of public corruption scandals, decided [Continue Reading…]