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


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


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


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 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/6277787834/), (CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/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…]