Last year’s 5.24 percent dropout rate was a four-percent increase from the 2005-06 school year and was the highest rate in seven years. Only 70.3 percent of students in North Carolina graduate in five years. Over the last ten years, the North Carolina General Assembly has repeatedly tried to address the troubling dropout problem with no apparent success. The latest initiative, dropout prevention grants, will likely have little short-term or long-term effect on the dropout rate.
posted January 30, 2008 by Katie Bethune, Dr. Michael Sanera
North Carolina cities and towns can spur redevelopment of their downtowns without using economic incentives or eminent domain to seize private property to give to private developers.
The city of Anaheim, California, adopted policies that revitalized its downtown without using eminent domain powers or economic incentives. Under the leadership of Mayor Curt Pringle, Anaheim developed a plan that relied on reducing government regulations and stimulating private-sector investment.
posted October 3, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Johnston County commissioners are asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase and a 200 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax on November 6. But the county has about $43.1 million over and above its base budget to meet its needs.
The Senate has passed a major electricity bill that includes something called a renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standard (REPS). The REPS consists of two separate requirements: A renewable portfolio standard that requires utilities to provide customers 7.5 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and energy efficiency measures that require a 5 percent reduction in energy use.
North Carolina is among the 26 states that have a maximum compulsory age of 16. Among the 50 states and D.C., there is no consistent relationship between the maximum compulsory age and graduation and dropout rates.
Budgets reflect priorities. When families face a new expense, they must cut back on another expense. Governments do not have this limitation. When legislators find they have spent too much or that there are new activities worth funding, they can raise taxes to make sure the budget balances and pass along the tough decisions to businesses, entrepreneurs, and families.
The most critical challenge facing Wake County Public Schools is to find the most responsive, cost-efficient, and timely way to provide seats for a growing student population. In this regard, the school system’s proposed $1.056 billion school facilities spending plan falls short.
State Treasurer Richard Moore wants to raise the minimum wage in North Carolina to $6.15, “one dollar more” than the federal minimum wage. Moore says the minimum wage hike would help those at the lowest rung of the economic ladder. That’s counter to even basic economics. Studies show that raising the minimum wage makes it even harder for the lowest skilled workers to find employment — but those are the very people it’s supposed to help. Ironically, minimum-wage hikes benefit middle- and upper-income families the most.
County and municipal governments provide many key services while taking in billions in revenue. Their roles grow ever greater as state government shifts more taxing power to localities to make up for money kept by the state. Still, finding comparative data is hard. That's why this report provides information of how much local government costs in every city and county in NC.
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