Virtual charter schools on path to opening in North Carolina


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”


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

Commerce privatization

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


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…]

Poor families facing cuts to child-care program

Photo from flickr user familymwr (, (CC BY 2.0,

Fewer working families will be eligible for child-care subsidies, if proposals in both the state House and Senate budget to change the income thresholds of participating families are adopted. The changes could affect up to 11 percent of the families that currently receive help, with legislative fiscal staff estimating nearly 12,000 of the 110,000 children [Continue Reading…]

State’s jobs czar without economic development experience, faced questions in past job


The Raleigh businessman and “change agent” selected to steer the McCrory administration’s privatization of the state’s job recruitment efforts came into the high-profile job with no economic development background and a checkered work history. Richard “Dick” Lindenmuth, 69, will be taking charge of an entirely new method of economic development in the state [Continue Reading…]

DHHS looking at cuts to program for disabled babies, toddlers after ENC consolidation plan falls apart


The state health agency’s cost-saving plan to shut down three offices serving developmentally delayed babies and toddlers has unexpectedly derailed, leaving questions about how deeply services will be cut. With the offices now staying open, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services still needs to find $10 million worth of cuts the [Continue Reading…]

State tax policy adds confusion, costs, and complications for NC’s same-sex couples


Marie Baker and Amanda Niles received yet another reminder this tax season that their family isn’t recognized, much less embraced, by the state of North Carolina. When they began to consider how to file their taxes this year, the Durham couple realized that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages meant the couple would be filling [Continue Reading…]