The House passed an annexation bill (HB 524) that not only fails to provide real reform, but also makes forced annexation an even greater problem for the 4.1 million North Carolina citizens living in unincorporated areas. Under forced annexation, municipalities may unilaterally force individuals to live in municipalities.
Under the new “Revocation of Charter for Lack of Academic Performance” policy, only low-performing charter schools are subject to closure by the NC State Board of Education. There is no equivalent policy for district schools. This study asks the question: How many public schools would close if the state instituted the policy three years ago and applied to charter and district schools alike?
According to the North Carolina General Statutes, school boards have three broad functions: 1) to maintain general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools, 2) to enforce and execute the school law, and 3) to ensure that the administration of schools is efficiently and more economically accomplished. To simplify the process of understanding the work of school boards, the John Locke Foundation has developed a checklist for school board candidates and citizens.
In North Carolina, the government can invoke eminent domain and seize private property even if reasonable alternatives exist to using this power. A recent Senate bill (SB 600) would allow conservation easement holders to challenge takings in court by requiring the government to prove that no prudent and feasible alternatives exist to condemnation of properties encumbered by conservation easements.
North Carolina’s public schools continue to add administrative, non-instructional, and instructional support positions at rates that far exceed enrollment growth. Since 2000, North Carolina’s public school student enrollment (Average Daily Membership) has increased by approximately 13 percent, while school personnel has increased by nearly 18 percent.
North Carolina’s pupil/staff ratio decreased from nearly 8:1 in 2003 to just over 7:1 in 2006.
Either version (House or Senate) of the smoking ban bill is a major threat to personal freedom and property rights. The Senate is considering a bill that would prohibit smoking in “public places” and “places of employment,” such as restaurants. The House version has the same general prohibition, but it also would include a very narrow exception for businesses that do not serve or allow entry to minors.
Forced annexation is a kind of city-initiated annexation that allows municipalities unilaterally to force citizens living in unincorporated areas into the municipalities.
North Carolina has an extreme annexation law even among states classified by recent studies as forced-annexation states.
Real reform of the state’s regressive annexation law does not mean getting rid of annexation generally or even city-initiated annexation. However, it should mean getting rid of the practice of forced annexation that allows municipalities to unilaterally force individuals in unincorporated areas to live within the municipalities.
The annexation law, despite hollow claims to the contrary, imposes few requirements on municipalities and offers little protection for citizens when it comes to forced annexation.
Municipalities can forcibly annex areas that do not meet density requirements.
posted June 2, 2008 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera, Daren Bakst, Michael Lowrey
North Carolina local government policymakers face many important challenges. This issue guide offers solutions to problems faced by the citizens of the state. The common thread in these recommendations is freedom. By increasing individual freedom, local governments can foster the prosperity of all North Carolinians.
To reach the City & County Issue Guide home page, click here.
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