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Education Top Story

After nearly a quarter-century, will NC courts finally order lawmakers to comply with education mandate?

Despite 1997 Leandro ruling, many NC K-12 students are not receiving the "sound basic education" the constitution guarantees them If North Carolina lawmakers want to see what could happen if they don’t comply with a court order to adequately fund public schools, they can look to the state of Washington.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nikole Hannah-Jones declines UNC tenure offer, heads to Howard University

In an exclusive interview, Hannah-Jones reveals that she and fellow award-winning journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates will launch new Center for Democracy and Journalism at Washington, DC HBCU After months of public controversy and behind-the-scenes political struggles, acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has decided not to join the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW investigates: Lax reporting laws allow campaigns to hide how millions are spent

Election watchdogs call on regulators to better track and police campaign consultant expenditures In the final two months of the 2020 General Election, the campaign of Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina, shelled out $25 million to the consulting firm Screen Strategies Media, apparently for advertising.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

DC update: Debates over race, discrimination and history take center stage on Capitol Hill

U.S. House votes to scuttle statues of Confederate leaders and slavery defenders, including NC's Vance WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Tuesday to remove from the Capitol a bust of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, a Marylander who wrote the despised Dred Scott decision—as well as evict statues and busts of men who fought for the Confederacy or served in its government.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As board prepares to vote on Hannah-Jones tenure, struggle continues over direction of UNC

Tenure supporters express optimism even as outside political pressure mounts After more than a month of headlines, revelations, petitions and protests, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees will meet Wednesday to confront the issue of tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at how the Senate’s and the Governor’s budgets compare in some key areas

Legislators spent last week deep in numbers as the Senate Republicans released their budget proposal, which the full Senate approved on Friday. The measure now heads to the state House, where significant revisions are expected. The two chambers will then create a compromise budget sometime this summer that will go to Gov. Roy Cooper.

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Environment Top Story

House passes Farm Act, which will fast-track controversial biogas projects

Rep. Jimmy Dixon calls agriculture "a whipping boy," says opposition is unfair Mt. Zion AME Church sits a ways off the road, flanked by farm fields near the Sampson County town of Magnolia. The small brick church, whose congregation is predominantly Black, is 100 years old. But its drinking water well is new.

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Environment News Top Story

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

PW special report: The right’s coordinated assault on Critical Race Theory in North Carolina

Conservatives warn of a conspiracy to indoctrinate schoolchildren, but critics dismiss claims as cynical political theater A well-orchestrated and growing movement to ban Critical Race Theory from America’s classrooms has taken root in North Carolina, even though many educators say the concept is not taught in public schools.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC Senate on track to pass budget bill that includes controversial law changes

Special provisions target executive branch powers of Democratic officials Budget-writing season started with talk of hoped for cooperation and budget that would gain significant bipartisan support.   That’s all soured in the early stages of budget debates, with Senate Democrats questioning a Republican-written budget that’s pumped full of special provisions that would limit executive branch powers. 

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Settled into new homes, refugees in U.S. say they are working for a better life for all

Violence, persecution and wars amid a global pandemic added to the growing number of displaced persons around the world last year. The United Nations reports that 11.2 million people were displaced from their homelands in 2020, bringing the total number of displaced persons in the world to 82.4 million. Of those forced to flee their homes, 1.4 million had to leave their country.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC Press now in the crosshairs of Board of Governors, which is refusing to re-appoint professor who criticized handling of Silent Sam monument

Eric Muller served two five-year terms on the UNC Press Board. In an unprecedented move, the UNC Board of Governors is refusing to re-appoint a respected law professor to the University of North Carolina Press Board of Governors. ...
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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Monday numbers: New study on death penalty shows it’s expensive, racially disproportionate and unpopular

The death penalty is more expensive and no more effective at deterring crimes than alternative punishments such as life imprisonment, according to a report by Appalachian State University professor of government and judicial studies Matthew Robinson. In the report published earlier this month, Robinson examined data to answer the question of whether death penalty should still be maintained as a state policy.

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Environment News Top Story

Once on the fast track, super-secret energy bill derailed over costs, nukes, and unproven claims

Rep. John Szoka says House Bill 951 "is not perfect." That, opponents say, is an understatement. For the past five months, the workings of a top secret energy group was so hush-hush that if someone was caught leaking information they would be expelled as an outcast and a pariah.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC Department of Labor continues to resist workplace safety rules for COVID-19

Department is now required to adopt workplace standards for COVID for healthcare workers – whether others will be covered remains in question The U.S. Department of Labor is adopting new emergency standards to protect healthcare workers from COVID, while its North Carolina counterpart has gone to court to defend its position that the potentially fatal disease is not a workplace hazard.

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News Top Story

Congressional update: Far right attacks Fauci; committees dig into affordable housing crisis, future of coal communities

Marjorie Taylor Greene in new attack on Fauci demands his salary be stripped WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Tuesday led a group of House Republicans calling for the firing of Dr. Anthony Fauci, formalizing their intense criticism of his public statements and actions throughout the coronavirus pandemic into legislation.

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