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Carolina Journal Radio No. 739: N.C. lawmakers set to return in August

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
July 17, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 739: N.C. lawmakers set to return in August

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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July 17, 2017 12:00 am

North Carolina lawmakers have adjourned their regular “long” session, but that doesn’t mean they have finished work for the year. They plan to return to Raleigh in early August and again in September. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, explains why lawmakers have planned to return to work at least a couple more times in 2017. He’ll also preview their legislative agenda. Members of the General Assembly tend to be older than the state’s general population. But a handful of lawmakers younger than 45 have decided to form a new group. It’s called the North Carolina Future Caucus. It will take a bipartisan look at issues of importance to younger adults. You’ll hear from the new group’s leaders, along with the head of the Washington, D.C.-based Millennial Action Project. That group plans to work with the new caucus and with similar groups in other states. North Carolina has maintained one of the nation’s strictest laws limiting access to the statewide election ballot. But legislation under negotiation in the state House and Senate would ease restrictions on both third parties and unaffiliated candidates seeking a spot on the ballot. You’ll hear highlights from committee debate on the issue. Agriculture remains one of North Carolina’s largest businesses. Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin, has served as one of the General Assembly’s top advocates for agricultural issues in recent years. Dixon shares his thoughts about the current state of farming and agribusiness, along with the impact of the state’s regulatory climate. New research offers clues about the primary factors that go into making a public school teacher effective. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, examines the data. He explains how the research fits with recent legislative efforts to change the way North Carolina pays its teachers.

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From charity to Currituck from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez, I will explore some major issues affecting our state. Members of the North Carolina Gen. assembly tend to be a bit older than the population at large Y some younger lawmakers have decided to create a new group. It's called the North Carolina future caucus this state has one of the nation's strictest laws limiting access to the statewide election ballot to learn about efforts to loosen those ballot restrictions for the future. Agriculture still means a big business in North Carolina. You'll hear from one of the Gen. assembly's most vocal advocates for farming and for agribusiness and will examine new research it spells out traits that help determine whether a public school teacher will succeed in the classroom. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline state legislators have gone home for now, that is, they have passed a new state budget, and dozens of other bills, some of which remain on Gov. Cooper's desk, some of which have actually been vetoed by the governor, but legislators won't be gone for too long. In fact, in about three weeks or so, they will return to Raleigh Carolina Journal editor-in-chief Rick Anderson is here to explain why they're coming back.

Welcome back, based on house pretty quick.

I recess for them right month or so, are they returned they are allowing themselves a little more than the 30 day period that the Constitution allows for the governor to decide if he wants to sign veto bills or let them become law without his signature. So they take 33 day recess after June 30 and then they're coming back about taking another 30 someday recess before September so they're basically covering their bases there so that they can decide whether coming back road so there is a definite to their madness Jesse there is. They could have gone ahead and adjourned for the year and set on a return date of sometime in the spring, but if they had done that, the governor Cooper, called back whatever he wanted to. For instance, if there were something going on for overrides things like that so we know the governor Cooper has vetoed a number of bills so far, about half a dozen or so have been quick overrides of his vetoes so is the legislature anticipating that among the hundred or so bills that are currently on the governor's desk that person vetoes to come as possible heal vetoed a bill dealing with aerosol collegiate spray the so-called pig juice. Use the cleanouts of waste lagoons and that all was vetoed. Override may take place on 3 May schedule about limits on the votes to override it there a few others that are out there pending campus free speech bill was Carolyn girlfriend about with somewhat extensively that was not supported by the UNC system, but that did receive majority votes Gen. assembly and also there's an energy bill that includes several provisions this this was the big stakeholder bill in which everybody was involved in the process, except on the Wright-Patterson court holders, also known as special interests. Yes, that's right. And the that bill the way that it was pitched by the stakeholders was that it was like a great big jingo tower if you attempted to remove one piece.

The whole thing could collapse well they Gen. Sibley actually added some pieces to the jingo tower including a temporary moratorium on new wind farms, so that may be something that would leave the governor to veto the bill is unclear if that will be when they come back on August 3. They could have several different things that they may need to address and we know that in the legislature. The Republicans have super majorities but that's not really a lock on some of these issues that they would be able to quickly overwrite the streusel. In some cases you're going to have a freely salt a solid Democratic caucus which may have some Republicans who will join along the bill of the energy bill. For instance, was opposed by almost all the environmental groups and relatively influential Republican legislators are represented Chuck McGrady out of the Henderson County has said that he certainly opposes that bill. And so if if this comes back up. It is always possible that some of these vetoes would not be overridden Rick with a also potentially address any other pieces of legislation that they consider to be unfinished business.

Yes, there were well there were at least a half-dozen bills that were in conference at the time they left town. Some of those were conference conference committees that were appointed or that which the conference conferees work were ordered ready to be appointed when they left the handyman for the conferees yet, so there are some bills. It passed one chamber and didn't pass the other or they passed one in this. The other one didn't concur with with the version and so there are some again that may be taken up and that's one of the options they have. During the special session also on the docket, potentially, at least, is this very interesting story that came out the last couple weeks of the session really representative Chris Millis was the person being behind this semi-potential impeachment proceeding against Secretary of State Elaine Marshall right back in the spring representative Millis had made a request of the Secretary of State for all the records of notaries public that had been authorized over this period of several years and when he got those documents back. He said that there were something in the neighborhood of 300 of those that were issued to people who had submitted documents that were not allowed to be considered for people to become notaries public how the there was a presentation before the legislature about this at the time representative Millis said if Elaine Marshall does not resign. He would pursue impeachment proceedings against her and a resolution was introduced to set up a formal select house committee Secretary of State's Marshal's office has responded by saying that Windows person applies to be a Republic there is.

There are only certain forms are accepted and those the ones that are allowed to prove legal residency in North Carolina and the documents it that she accepts would be things like birth certificates or green cards.

She said representative their sin. Quite often people send a whole lot of documents that may include things that are on the list and so the distortion wasn't these documents representative Millis found may have been one of a bundle of documents that were sent, but that the actual documents that that prove the person was eligible to be a notary and was a legal resident of North Carolina and the United States. Those super situations were satisfied with the representative Millis still pursuing this. Do I have it right then that at the August 3 session what the legislature would look at is a resolution saying yes we want to look into this.

That's that's wasted right now or there could be something else introduced at that time there may say will appoint an independent counsel to investigate or something like or think they know they could say that they're not interested in doing so. That's right, they can absolutely decide that they're satisfied that the police that doesn't look like other sectors that Marshall done anything wrong so that August 3 session but then Rick.

We also know that the legislature has plans. As you mentioned a few minutes ago to come back again, this time after Labor Day right in the September session is again to allow for things might've happened in the obsession. If they do sound transit tomorrow starts right will you like to do is take some of these bills are in conference pass them send them to the governor who made in vetoed, they would have to have an override session so that that may be part of what happens. They may also do some work on redistricting. Although the talk right now as it is probably a wait until November before they finish that up but there awaiting instructions from federal court to see exactly what they're supposed to look for when they draw new districts, new districts are going to have to be drawn from the 20 18th.

Elections for both legislature and Congress. But there still waiting for the court to say exactly what we want to look for so that we make sure that we draw districts that are constitutional because it seems like the definition of constitutionalism moving target. Yes Gen. assembly is always said we would not gerrymander based on race we gerrymandered based on partisan affiliation that we wanted to make sure that we can get as many Republicans like as possible to get Gen. assembly, which is legal and the courts have been the federal courts have not exactly been as clear about that as I used to be there and there were some questions raised about whether or not partisan gerrymandering was okay and so now what were dealing with this court that's trying to define something without setting the right lines and so the general symbols look confused about that as many of us are to the Gen. assembly will be back on August 3. And then again after Labor Day and then this issue of the maps in these court rulings that's correct Rick Henderson as editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal. You can follow him on Twitter the regulator.

Thank you very much. I can say with as much North Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment government plays a key role in your life affecting your paycheck the way you educate your kids the way you do business. How can you tell if government is doing a good job making the right choices.

Spending tax dollars wisely. Carolina tackles those questions every day.

The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina Journal imprint each month and on the web each day at Carolina. you'll find exclusive investigative reports on topics. No one else is covering what else a rundown of the best new stories, editorials and opinion columns in North Carolina. John Hood's daily Journal new stories and important public and the voices of the newsmakers themselves at Carolina Journal radio imprint on the air and on the web.

You can find the information you will get back to Carolina Journal radio I Mitch coca members of the North Carolina Gen. assembly tend to be older than the states population in general but there are members who are 45 and younger. Now they're joining forces on both sides of the partisan divide for a new group.

It's called the North Carolina future caucus Democratic state representative Chaz Beasley of Mecklenburg County explains the causes been created in a few other states about 20 across the country and is geared toward members of the Gen. assembly, who are under the age of 45 and basically our goal is to make sure that people who are on the younger side of the spectrum when it comes to what's going on here in the Gen. assembly not only a representative but can get together in a bipartisan fashion and make sure that were talking about issues that affect the future of our state as we know is critical in this current time that we have more bipartisanship and I were willing to work across the aisle. We also know that it is tremendously important that people who are going to be the future of our state feel like they have ownership in what were doing Republican representative Kyle Hall will help Beasley leave the new group most the things we do at the Gen. assembly tend to be bipartisan in nature. Anyway, if you look at our voting records of everybody that's here to select official probably about 80% of what we vote on ends of the hundred 20 to nothing in the house, probably for nothing and there's only about 20% of time that we actually disagree nothing but one good thing about this caucus that we have established here is giving us that open dialogue you, Chaz Beasley, and I don't necessarily agree on on every single issue that is in the Gen. assembly as a conservative. I believe that our millennial generation expects to have the same promise that was a vision by our founding fathers life, liberty and pursuit. I believe that our millennial's one issue that they're most concerned about in the future is the prospects of having a job and that's the number one focus that we need to have in this caucus is make sure that North Carolina continues to grow stronger each and every day and those are the issues that I will fight for all this caucus Democratic Sen. Jay Chaudhary of wake County helped put the new caucus together.

I'm excited about helping be a part of establishing this caucus. Now I will confess to you that I am not a millennial. I am a member of the Jen Jen X generation, but there is a reason that I have a vested interest in making sure that we established the North Carolina future caucus.

There are two reasons. First, there's the obvious demographic changes in North Carolina millennial's are rapidly growing in the state in this year millennial's will outnumber baby boomers for the first time, becoming the largest adult population, adult generation, North Carolina, and today, millennial's constitute one out of every four voters in North Carolina.

In a study that was done last year. Wake County was considered one of the top 10 national markets for millennial homebuyers in my district, which is home to North Carolina State University peace College and Meredith College. Obviously, there are many, many millennial's that are here in the district and second reason that I thought is important that we establish this caucus that is important, we come together to take on challenges facing the issues confronting the issues that are important to our youngest citizens. Citizens who really defined the course of the rest of the 21st century and so I want to do whatever I can to make sure that we can proactively include the voices of millennial's and have them be part of their conversation so that we can have a shared prosperity for the state today in a shared prosperity for the state in the future.

Stephen Ola Kara leads the millennial action project, a Washington DC based group is working with the new North Carolina caucus. We've been launching these future caucuses all across the country, building a bipartisan movement of young lawmakers were saying something very simple that the founding creed of this country is one word out of many we become one for all of our diversity. It's essential for the success of our democracy to be able to build consensus and common ground but were here today because we are confronted with a threat to our democracy, which is that partisan polarization is the worst it's been since the end of reconstruction and we have historic numbers of young people feeling disaffected from the political process. Indeed, a majority of millennial's today do not believe that politics can solve the problems we face less than 1/3 of millennial's see public service as an appealing career track, but at the same time we cannot forget the potential that this generation has to offer. We actually have the highest service participation rates in this country. And as we know historically great political transformation has been driven by young people, you're listening to highlights from the public launch of a new group within the North Carolina Gen. assembly. It's called the North Carolina future caucus Stephen Ola Kara of the millennial action project points to two parts of the new group.

One aspect of it is we have serious challenges confronting young people that we have to address what it has to do with crating the economic opportunity helping young people access to education doing with the student debt crisis. We have being all to attract and retain younger Carolinians to the state today were actually not announcing an an agenda, but these are the sorts of issues that caucuses across the country have worked on and it's important for millennial's before they reengage with the process to know that the process is actually working for them, but the second piece here is even deeper than any single piece of legislation and that is tender. Youngest legislators here be the adults in the room. They model the type of civil discourse that we need conveyed build bridges of cooperation and mutual understanding.

There are a lot of areas maybe 20% where legislators won't agree. And there's disagreement there, but the power of this group is to say, we can work together on other issues and we can disagree constructively that's what we need here without this demonizing and vilifying the other side because the more we do that the further we move apart as a country, the more we focus only on the short-term crises and the less we can actually address the long-term challenges that we face as a country. So, what kinds of issues like this new future caucus discuss Republican representative Kyle Hall offered his suggestions represent Beasley last week demonstrated part of that. One of those issues that he fought for in the budget last week was an amendment to the budget should require financial literacy to make sure that our our young people are prepared for the future, but I think all in all I think that we can come together Lisa my opinion on us in text form issues and some education issues. Make sure there are. Our classrooms are adequate adequately funded. Their teachers are adequately paid for the challenges that they face. I think also are our public safety. I think that all of us appear to understand that we have the same number of state troopers on the road today as we did in 1992.

Obviously, North Carolina has grown tremendously since there and I think that that's something that millennial should should takes very seriously calls Democratic counterpart Chaz Beasley chimed in with his own suggestions.

One of the things that is particularly an issue that you hear from just about every single millennial that you talk to is about student loan debt about the fact you have to basically take out a mortgage on your education in order to get an education.

Those are the types of things that hopefully we can draw attention to that we can come up to come up with solutions because so many people rightly or wrongly do believe that a lot of young people are not represented in spaces like this adequately and it does lead to disaffection that does lead to people feeling like there's no place for them. Here listening to highlights from a news conference launching a new group within the North Carolina Gen. assembly. It's dubbed the North Carolina future caucus is designed to bring together Republican and Democratic lawmakers were 45 years old or younger, will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment. Are you looking to make North Carolina more free the John Mott foundation is in here are three things you can do today to help us make it happen. First, know the facts visit John Mott data work for data analysis, interviews, and more and read Carolina to learn what government is doing with your money. Second, influence the debate invest in the John Locke foundation's work with a tax-deductible donation you can get it done in and third make North Carolina more free by sharing the message of freedom.

It's easy when you visit John Click on shareable's download past messages to freedom. Dear friends, print the messages and mail them, or if your savvy computer user share the message of freedom on Facebook and Twitter know the facts influence the debate and share the message three things you can do today to help us make North Carolina more free. Get started North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else. Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke NC and at Carolina journal did you know you can now advance freedom and free markets just by shopping with Amazon it's true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Mann foundation just shot using the Amazon smile program and designate the work foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop and Amazon donates money to ask the John Locke foundation. So here's how it works long time to Amazon smile. It's the same Amazon you know same products same prices is much better. Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to pass the John Locke foundation to try and be sure to designate the work foundation is a nonprofit, you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy will also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom.

Support the John Locke foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio.

I'm go guy.

It's tough for a new political party to gain access to North Carolina's election ballot Republican State Sen. Andrew Brock once a change. John had one the most restrictive ordinances or laws on the books as far as allowing third-party access. This just lowers it, which makes it the little bit easier and comes along more states alone third third-party access.

Brock supports a bill to lower the number of petition signatures a new party needs to collect the current standard is roughly 95,000 Brock's proposal 10,000 state representative John Harvester asked Brock why the threshold of 10,000 threshold signatures. Would you mind explaining how you arrived at that number. We look at some other states that are out there which they have less restrictive numbers and we do and we are looking at 93,000 and way our stake to universal make it tougher and tougher for the parties to get involved and are actually of the parties to start your looking at obtaining 93,000 verify signatures of voters in different districts and basically you're going to keep the state under a complete two-party control were just on lower make a little bit easier. They still have to be verified and still have to do silly at least three of the congressional districts, state representative Michael speciality questions looser rules for unaffiliated candidates and theory were making it easier for people to get on the ballot so we could have possibly. If enough people ensure we could have let Satan 10 unaffiliated on the ballot of 10 people since there's no primary for them. We would have a Republican or Democrat and 10 unaffiliated in the general election representative John Socha asked about a provision to lower the number of congressional districts needed for a new parties petition signatures with lowering the number of qualified voters so much without a good counter that might be to have at least 200 signatures from each one of the 13 congressional districts as a counter lowering the number so far not like to know your logic in going from 200 signatures from four congressional districts three congressional districts not going to have one we just try to make a little bit easier for people to get on the ballot Libertarian party chairman Brian Irving supports reform. This is an issue access to the ballot that greens and limitary agree on when you have people from different political perspectives, we have the demonic democracy NC and the John Locke foundation also supporting ballot access reform when you have an issue like that.

The net tells you that the people this is something people want.

Most states 36 of all 50 states have a lower requirement regarding independent third parties and independent candidates on the ballot.

So North Carolina is number one as being the most restrictive you been listening to debate about ballot access rules in North Carolina, will return with more Carolina journal.

Are you tired of fake news. Well you won't find it here at Carolina journal.

We don't make things happen and we don't presume or assign motives. There's no simpler way to put it then that were proud to say that honest, factual, rigorous journalism is the Carolina journal way I reporting team is focused on accountability in government and policymaking. No matter which political party is in power, and regardless of the person taken to task in the story, Carolina journal where beholden to the truth and to transparency.

Unlike fake news lies, innuendo, questionable sourcing are meant to create controversy not inform the debate. So the next time you're confronted with fake news line onto Carolina or pick up the latest print edition you'll find compelling news reporting from a team that knows what it means to be real journalists committed to truth Carolina journal. You can count on us for the facts. Welcome back Carolina journal radio. I'm go guy agriculture has long served as one of the most important pieces of the North Carolina economy.

It even as the state is changed farming and industries related to farming continue to play an important role.

One of the people who's been most vocal about the role of agriculture in North Carolina is our next guest, state representative Jimmy Dixon is a former he also chairs the state houses agriculture committee. Thanks for joining us.

Thank you Richard smile, delight and pleasure to be with you this morning when we talk about agriculture just how big a deal as it did North Carolina well obviously everybody knows that is in touch with any degree of information that it is the largest segment of our economy represent about $84 billion a year, and approximately 600,000 jobs in North Carolina. When you chat with people ensure those numbers are they surprised that at this day and time. Agriculture is still the number one piece the economy they really are. To a great extent, and of course that is the the produce that will produce the animals that we produce and including the agribusiness that's associated with the industry to come up with that $84 billion and we believe and Commissioner Troxler set a goal for us to soon be at the hundred million dollar level for the total input of agriculture and state of North Carolina.

Yes, most folks are surprised when we when we say that they do not realize the degree to which we still depend upon that segment of our economy to care the bird in North Carolina. If people are surprised about that.

I guess that would also probably lead to some of them not understanding the need to protect and promote agriculture and economies out right.

That is correct and I'm and I'm glad you use two words there mid shoot you use protect and promote I may promote a proponent to say that we need to promote if we identify a protector for anything you automatically have identified your destroyer if they want to do that yes awaken promotion. What are some of the things that you as a member of the Gen. assembly who has a farming background and who chairs the agriculture committee what are some of the things you want to see the state due to promote agriculture and agribusiness were limited. Let me just start off very simple and very elementary and visceral. This will get a laugh or two because it sounds so ridiculous on its surface. One of my main jobs is to get folks in North Carolina to understand that food actually does not come from the grocery store. I'm laughing so got one laugh anyway. In my first session in the Gen. assembly in the agriculture committee I made that statement and I got some really inquisitive looks from some of my colleagues on the agriculture committee is to well what is is Duplin in Wayne County sent to the Gen. assembly. Now with this profound announcement that food doesn't come from the grocery store, but that is that is elementary and I often ask groups and on my this group here today.

How long is it been Mitch since you seriously wondered whether you were going to have some food to eat tomorrow or not. And that will highlight how we've taken our food for certainly not true in many parts of the world. They are thinking about those questions every day here in the US and in North Carolina we don't have to think about it because the food is so so plentiful is an economical and safe which are very important things. So as a springboard from that that first of all, that somebody is producing this food and fiber forced to have our prosperous ways of life, then we need to understand the role that government and regulations play today. There are some groups out there very well intended but they do not understand the modern day agriculture procedures that we have and their plows and combines and work boots turn out to be their pens and pencils and keyboards a thousand miles from where the farms really are.

And so we need good process to really enthrone the idea that food is the most important energy that we produce in this nation we are chatting with state representative Jimmy Dixon. He is a farmer Duplin in Wayne County's as he mentions he also chairs the state house agriculture committee what are some of the biggest challenges that you see day to day. The Gen. assembly when it comes to agriculture is it doesn't have to deal with people just not understanding or remembering that the food has to come from the farmers we have probably the most supportive agricultural Gen. assembly in many decades in Raleigh now and so many of my colleagues understand exactly what I'm talking about here.

One of the things Mitch that we face in non-urban North Carolina is the fact that the population shifts in our population every senses diminishes our ability for representation in the general assembly.

For example, in the last sentence is east of 95 we lost seven seats in the house. That is something that we need to give serious attention to because as we do become more urban as we lose because of population shifts our ability to represent with a vote.

The conditions of nonurban North Carolina that is a serious serious thing. So we have got to educate our urban friends as to the importance of agriculture today so that we will have friendly voices and friendly votes to give agriculture properly measured priority as we go forward. You mentioned that this is one of the more agriculture friendly general assemblies in a long time.

Does that mean that there has been support some success in getting these urban legislators to realize how important agriculture is yes, under the leadership of Sen. Brent Jackson in our first session we formed for the first time ever, under speaker Tillis and Pres. pro tem Phil Berger and agriculture, and rule caucus for the first time and that's where legislators from across the state.

You don't have to be in nonurban you can be from anywhere can join that caucus and we talk about those issues that are critical for the production of food and fiber in a safe and economical way for the citizens of North Carolina and for the world as far as that goes. I'm guessing the agricultural and rural caucus used to be the entire Gen. assembly. Here you have euro caucus in the brief time that we have left. If there's one particular thing about agriculture that you suspect our listeners don't know that they should know what would that be the degree to which government change in the goal line can affect us drastically and especially the federal government.

We recently I think have survived what was called the waters of the United States which was a critical piece of federal legislation that, if passed in its and in the form that it was presented. States could do nothing about it, the clean power plan also has a drastic effect on, for example, how would you retrofit a combine to capture all the dust when taken so endanger corn so the in the the in ordinate interference of the federal government in our processes that have been tried and proven are the number one danger facing agriculture to the state representative Jimmy Dixon, chairman of the state house agriculture committee. Thanks much for joining us.

Thank you. That leisure will I bore a Carolina internal rate just if you love freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups all across the state. All in one place North Carolina one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement had North Carolina You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analyst plus opinion pieces and reports on higher education. All of that from the Pope Center for higher education policy commentary and polling data from the Cintas Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all of that, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Log on today.

Welcome back to Carolina journal radio Donna Martinez North Carolina will spend more than $9 billion on public education over the next year is a huge piece of the new $23 billion general fund budget L good deal of that money will help pay for teacher salaries and benefits, vacation, pensions, and more after four consecutive years of raises for teachers. Some folks are now turning their focus away from pay and toward quality and effectiveness. Sec. stoops is the John Locke foundation's vice president for research is also the director of education studies has been following the budget and the research very closely.

Terry, welcome back. Thank you. In general, what we know about the relationship between teacher quality and student performance.

We know that of the school-based factors.

The teacher quality is the most important factor in determining student achievement, but we know also that there are numerous other factors outside of the school that also play a major role in that's the most important thing to remember here is that even if we raise the quality of our teacher workforce, which will be very important and very critical in raising student achievement. There are lots of other factors that play a role. So most of those things are things that the government's really can't do anything to change but teacher quality may be one that they can, and presumably outside the classroom. Your thinking about things like parents and home environment that's exactly right. Those factors that are very difficult to quantify, but we know that out there in some ways that are hard to quantify or even describe they do play a role inside the classroom. It's interesting because I think if you been apparently been a students which we all have been you know that day at a school. Instinctively people just know which teachers are the really good ones and I use that word."

And in which you either want to have is your teacher or you want your child to be in a teacher's classroom and a lot of times we focus on how much formal education that person has is that really the measuring stick Terry for the quality of teacher. It really isn't. And let's just say that you know after decades of research huge collections of data and analysis, we still can't quantify those factors. Those combination of factors that make a great teacher grades.

We have some sense of things that are more likely to predict that a teacher is going to be good and other things. So, for example, just because a teacher has a Masters degree in education doesn't mean they're going to be a good teacher.

In fact the research again and again shows that master's degrees in education have little bearing on student achievement. There are other factors that may have more of the relationship to student achievement, but things like a graduate degree in education, certification status, those things don't tend to have the kind of effects on student achievement that other factors may have. Aren't those the things that we actually pay more money for now at least at this point in time will that's true. First of all, every teacher has to be certified unless you're in a charter school so certification is a given, but Masters degrees is a very interesting case study because after decades of research.

This is a master's degrees don't matter.

The Republican said you know what work with Hogan's North Carolina excuse me said were to look at what the research says to pay teachers. Accordingly, we are not going to provide additional pay for master's degrees in education the most other states do, we are actually one of the few that don't.

But I think this is one of the cases where Republican legislators looked at the research and said we don't think that paying for Masters degrees makes any difference. So were going to put the money in other areas that appear to make teachers better and and help students learn. Let's talk more about that then. Because the question is what should we be looking for: hiring teachers so does it matter Terry whether someone has a degree in education or a degree in a specialized field like math or science. That certainly depends on the field and and let me just preface everything by saying it really depends on the teacher so were looking at general trends here, but you really want teachers that understand their subject matter.

At the very basic level you want to make sure that a math teacher truly understands how math works social studies teacher truly understands history and geography and we may think to ourselves what should we take that for granted that these teachers know the basics of their subject matter. That's not always the case.

So at the very basic level, knowing that teachers and recognizing the teachers have to be master masters of their subject matter is absolutely critical.

And if we can see that those individuals for example that have a mastery in science or math or social studies that enter the classroom tend to perform better than those that just have taken their education courses and a couple survey courses in their subject matter here or there and enter the classroom thinking that they're going to be expert teachers. Terry almost sounds like you're making an argument for those sound the hiring of people who are coming in from business and industry or some other field where they actually deal with the subject matter, day in and day out. I think there's a compelling case to be made and Republicans have been making more of an effort here in North Carolina to make it easier for those individuals to enter the classroom, but a good example of how this works in real life is teach for America teach for America teachers don't have education degrees, but they have degrees in subject matter fields and research says that in North Carolina teach for America teachers perform better than any other teachers regardless of their training in the UNC system or elsewhere. These are teachers that master their subject matter first and come from elite universities typically that make for the best teachers and we've known this for several years. The teach for America really pays off and Republicans in North Carolina have increased funding to ensure that more teach for America teachers enter the classroom used an interesting phrase them elite schools doesn't what university or college that someone went to, or is it the degree they're receiving.

Whether it's education or some specialty field or just there are performance in school their undergrad institution definitely plays a role in if you can think about it this way. It's not the institution itself, but the quality of education that student receives a one could argue also, you're getting a higher quality student that are entering those institutions in the first place, but it is a good marker that a teacher is going to be better at their subject matter. Perhaps perform better in the classroom. Now it's not a an absolute that they're going to be a better teacher but we can see that teachers that graduate from some of our top-tier universities have a better's grasp of the subject matter and therefore are better able to be high performance in the classroom and we have a lot of teacher education programs in North Carolina piece universities right that's right.

So does that mean that we should be taking a much more serious look not only at the curriculum that they are providing black at the quality of the student. Quite frankly, that are entering the programs. That's right. And we should also be looking for incentives for making sure that hard performers enter those teacher education programs. We see Republicans for example are trying to get more math and science folks into the teaching profession. One way to do that is to provide pay supplement or excusing tuition supplements for those students when they arrived University to entice them to go into the teaching field because that right now is our biggest area of need math, science, and special education teachers we need to ensure that the pipeline remains strong and we gotta make sure that that pipeline starts at our schools of education, is there any way to find out about the background of the teacher or to choose your child's teacher one most cases the background of the teachers available on websites, but the best thing that any parent or grandparent can do is to ask questions and talking with Dr. Terry stoops.

He is the John Locke foundation's director of education studies. Also, the vice president for research Terry that's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch go back. Donna Martinez will join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke done work, call 18661665534636 Carolina journal radio nation airline is all opinions expressed on this program nearly mentioned about Michelle Moore foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again

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