Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Government watchdog files ethics complaint against powerful state lawmaker

Chair of two House education committees failed to disclose his wife's connection to charter school Rep. John Torbett, chairman of the state’s influential House Education K-12 Committee, is the target of a Legislative Ethics Committee complaint alleging the Gaston County Republican failed to disclose that his wife serves on a charter school board that receives state funding.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: UNC pandemic specialist says school is repeating mistakes from 2020

Veteran epidemiologist and ethicist is fearful university leaders have not learned vital lessons from last year As students return for the fall semester at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday, Dr. Jim Thomas is having an uneasy sense of déjà vu. “I’m very uneasy about what I’m seeing,” said Thomas, a professor emeritus in the Epidemiology department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Or what I’m seeing again.”

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the relative well-being of LGBTQ Americans

Last week Charlotte became the latest — and, by far, largest — North Carolina community to pass new LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections. The new protections come five years after state lawmakers and then-Gov. Pat McCrory passed HB 2, preventing local governments from introducing new non-discrimination ordinances.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Author Geeta Kapur discusses her new book detailing the history and legacy of racism at UNC

As a lawyer and civil rights activist, Geeta Kapur was well aware of racism in North Carolina. But she had a blind spot ...
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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nearly six weeks into the new fiscal year, House version of the state budget starts to emerge

Differences in HHS proposals indicate House and Senate negotiators have much work ahead House budget subcommittee leaders released big pieces of their spending proposal Thursday, as the chamber began speeding toward passage of its full budget. Still to come are salary increases or bonuses the House will propose for teachers and state employees.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Push to replace law enforcement officers with unarmed crisis intervention experts gains momentum

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year helped instigate a new wave of interest in changing policing in the U.S., including new ways to respond to calls that involve people experiencing mental health crises.   The issue gained additional prominence after officer bodycam footage was released that showed Rochester, N.Y., police handcuffing Daniel Prude, a Black man in a mental health crisis, putting a spit hood over his head and pressing his face onto the pavement.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State law: UNC Press leader can stay on despite opposition from UNC Board of Governors

Conservatives on UNC BOG want to remove Prof. Eric Muller, but legal experts say they lack the authority to do so In a high-stakes game of political poker with the UNC Board of Governors, a state statute may provide the UNC Press with a trump card.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC journalism faculty members: Wealthy donors should not define the school’s values

Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill journalism school faculty overwhelmingly reject the notion that a mega-donor's "core values" of journalism should be the official values of the school, according to a recent survey. Instead, the faculty members favor independently determining the school's values.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Faculty members protest Board of Governors’ interference with UNC Press leadership

BOG member says refusal to reappoint law professor Eric Muller is a message to students, campus leaders and faculty that they "are not in charge of the system" The UNC-Chapel Hill faculty is opposing what they say is undue political influence on appointments to the UNC Press Board of Governors.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former McCrory aide, Locke Foundation staffer to help lead new, partisan oversight staff at legislature

After top Republican state lawmakers eliminated the legislature’s in-house watchdog agency, the Program Evaluation Division, in February Joe Coletti, then a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation lauded the decision. In a Feb. 22, 2021, article that appeared on the conservative think tank’s website, he opined that a partisan staff might be more nimble in performing the oversight function and making recommendations to increase government efficiency.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Geography, politics loom large as COVID-19 vaccination momentum wanes

Lack of access, "Trump effect" both acting as roadblocks COVID-19 vaccines are hard to come by in Bladenboro, the small southeastern North Carolina town that was the center of a COVID-19 cluster that pushed its home county into the red zone on a virus alert map.

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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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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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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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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 ...
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