Archives by: Billy Ball

Billy Ball

About the author

Billy Ball, worked at NC Policy Watch from 2016 to 2020 — first as an education reporter and later as managing editor.

Billy Ball's articles and posts

Education Top Story

Monday numbers: America’s staggering diversity gap between students of color and teachers of color

Public school demographics in the United States are shifting, but, based on emerging national data, there’s reason to believe public schools are struggling to keep up with the changes.

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Billy Ball Commentary Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

Pat McCrory, at last, makes a stand

North Carolina made history again Monday, the not-so-bad kind. If you were in earshot of Raleigh Monday, you might have heard: The state’s five living former governors—two Republicans, three Democrats: Jim Martin, Jim Hunt, Mike Easley...

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Education Top Story

Early board of ed departures may provide path for Cooper to bypass legislative roadblocks

When State Board of Education members Bill Cobey and Becky Taylor step down next month, it’ll mark the third time in six months that members of North Carolina’s top school board depart before their term is up.

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Education Top Story

“Show me the money!” North Carolina school boards seek to collect on state’s long-running school funding tab

“Show me the money!” Minnie Forte-Brown, president of the N.C. School Boards Association (NCSBA), which advocates for local boards statewide, is standing in a cramped computer lab at George Watts Elementary in Durham with a handful of reporters and school advocates.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

What Donald Trump will never understand about journalism

More than a decade ago, a man who identified himself as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans told me in a crudely-written email that I should leave the South—my home for nearly my entire life—after I authored a critical column on “Silent Sam,” UNC-Chapel Hill’s Confederate statue and perennial controversy.

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Original Commentary Top Story

North Carolina lawmakers remind us yet again why they’ve earned our distrust

Forgive us if it’s difficult to stomach General Assembly leaders’ attempt to cast themselves as avenging heroes in this scenario, rather than anti-democratic bilkers. Spare us the Batman and Robin act, jokers.

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Original Commentary Top Story

N.C. General Assembly has failed to act, but the time to stop Chemours’ pollution is now

“How long before we say enough is enough?” state lawmaker Ted Davis Jr. asked his colleagues in the N.C. House in February. “How much more is Chemours going to get away with before something is done?”

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

The trouble with ICE

Six years ago, long before #AbolishICE, and long before Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) touched off an international uproar by separating undocumented families at the border, federal immigration agents had already stirred up outrage in North Carolina.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

After Kennedy, after Trump, progressives rage

“Let us be enraged about injustice, but let us not be destroyed by it.” – Bayard Rustin This Anthony Kennedy news. Last week’s departure of America’s most important swing vote—perhaps the last foxhole against Trump’s most virulent attacks—read like a funeral dirge for liberal and moderate Americans.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Legislators wallow in special interest override of governor’s veto

Leaders in the N.C. General Assembly seem to exist in the permanent state of an editorial cartoon.

If so, picture the 74 House lawmakers and 37 Senate lawmakers—mostly Republicans, a few Democrats—who voted this week to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the N.C. Farm Act of 2018 as musclebound boars, holding clothespins to their snouts, wielding a judge’s gavel they are wholly unqualified to hold.

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