Good morning, and thank you all for being here today! I particularly want to thank Dr. Holden and RTI International, our guests from the research community, and my staff, Nora Blalock, Asher Hildebrand, and Lawrence Kluttz, for convening this timely discussion of an important topic on very short notice.
Happy teacher appreciation week! This annual celebration is an important reminder of the vital – and often thankless – work that teachers do to improve the lives of students and to build a stronger future for our state and our nation.
In The News
By Andrew Barksdale
This week's sweeping tax plan received mixed support from House members representing Cumberland County.
By Loretta Boniti
This year marked clear change in North Carolina's representation in Congress.
North Carolina has been a state divided in Washington for the past several years, one Republican, one Democrat serving the state in the Senate, and almost an even split of Democrats and Republicans serving us in the House.
That is no longer the case.
By Bruce Mildwurf
The U.S. House voted late Tuesday to approve a Senate compromise averting "fiscal cliff" tax increases and spending cuts after House Republicans dropped their demands for additional spending cuts.
By Anne Blythe
Ben Chavis fell to his knees in prayer on Monday after learning that Gov. Bev Perdue had pardoned him some four decades after a tainted and racially biased Civil Rights-era prosecution wrongfully sent him to prison.
With five days left in office, Perdue issued a full pardon of innocence for Chavis and the nine others who became known as the Wilmington 10.
The bombastic Wayne LaPierre, public face of the National Rifle Association, says he'd never participate in a national task force on gun violence, which will be led by Vice President Joe Biden. No sense, LaPierre says, in even talking to people who clearly want to destroy the Second Amendment, which the powerful gun lobby wears like a religious raiment.
By Austin Baird
In a floor speech on Wednesday, Rep. David Price, a Democrat representing the 4th District, said there should be a dialogue on mental health and gun policies in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.
By Loretta Boniti
North Carolina political leaders said the state should learn from the tragedy in Connecticut. They said it is not clear if any changes need to be made, but the state should be open to the possibility.
The images and emotions still have many Americans reeling from Friday's tragic shooting in Newtown, CT.
By Albert Hunt
The fears that big money would corrupt the political process in 2012 weren't realized, the conventional wisdom says. The fat cats, unshackled by U.S. Supreme Court and lower court decisions, weren't able to buy the presidency or the Senate.
By Michael Hiltzik
Just as the devil's finest trick is persuading you that he doesn't exist (according to the poet Baudelaire), the best trick of big-money political donors may be persuading Americans that Citizens United doesn't matter.
By Norm Ornstein
First, a word about Sen. Warren B. Rudman.