Civitas Review

New EPA Rules to Cost NC Tens of Thousands of Jobs


A new study by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, and published by the Civitas Institute, examines the potential impact new EPA rules would have on North Carolina. The main findings of the study include:

  • EPA rules will cost the North Carolina economy a total of $1.7 billion between 2015 and 2030.
  • The state’s economy will lose 32,120 jobs by 2030.
  • Real disposable income would fall by $3.5 billion per year by 2030.
  • Electricity bills for residential ratepayers will increase by about $355 per year by 2030, and for industrial ratepayers by nearly $52,000 per year.

Because the EPA rules would be especially onerous on coal-fired power plants, the impacts will be felt more sharply in NC because it receives a higher share of its energy from coal than most states. Click here to read the study.

National School Choice Week


January 25-31 is National School Choice Week!

This year over 11,000 events are planned to show your support for school choice.  What’s going on in your area ?    The National School Choice Week web site has a handy feature that allows you to search for events by zip code.   Cool.

So What's going on in the Raleigh area?

Tomorrow the John Locke Foundation is  hosting a National School Choice Breakfast Event at the Raleigh City Club  (28th floor of the Wells Fargo Building) beginning at 7:30 a.m.   The event  includes guest speakers as well as a showing of the school choice film,  The Ticket.

If you can't make tomorrow's breakfast, don't worry. There are hundreds of other events in North Carolina and thousands of events nationally where you can stand up for school choice!

Killing them softly: SBE and virtual public charter schools


Should virtual public charter schools be required by the state to provide Learning Coaches if parents or other adults are not able to work with at home virtual public school students? A subcommittee of the State Board of Education thinks so and has added the provision to a re-worked contract that would also require online public charters to provide computer equipment and internet connections for students who could not afford them.

Last I checked NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) does not provide at home Learning Coaches, nor had any plans to do so.  Many educators and administrators constantly say they want public schools to have the same flexibility as charter schools. OK, we'll wait for NCVPS to sign up for at-home Learning Coaches. See how that fits in the budget

This is just another example of onerous, unjustified regulations, and why the process for authorizing charters needs to be changed.

Gene Nichol's Poverty Center: Making Poverty Worse?


Gene Nichol & Co. continue to plea their case to save the UNC Poverty Center from possible cuts of research centers being considered by the Board of Governors. A key component to the Poverty Center's mission is to "advocate for proposals, policies and services to mitigate poverty in North Carolina," with one of their top goals being to "examine innovative and practical ideas to move more men, women and children out of poverty."

But according to data from the Poverty Center's own website, under Nichol's watch poverty in North Carolina has not only gotten worse in absolute terms, but relative to the national average as well.

NC's poverty rate in 2008, the year Nichol took over the Poverty Center, was 14.6%.   Compared to the national poverty rate that year of 13.2%, North Carolina's poverty rate was 10.6 percent higher than the national average.

The most recent poverty figures available at the Poverty Center's website are from a spring 2013 report, which shows North Carolina's poverty rate has climbed to 17.2%, which is 13 percent higher than the national average.

If North Carolina continues to fall further behind the national average in poverty, what good, exactly is Nichol's Poverty Center doing?