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Carolina Journal Radio No. 774: Pipeline fund continues to generate questions

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2018 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 774: Pipeline fund continues to generate questions

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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March 19, 2018 12:00 am

The General Assembly continues to raise questions about negotiations that led Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers to set up a $57.8 million fund that would be controlled by Gov. Roy Cooper. Leading legislators have labeled the money a “slush fund” that seems to violate constitutional rules about the use and oversight of state money. Carolina Journal Associate Editor Dan Way offers an update on the evolving controversy. Most of us wonder what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. Some look ahead five or 10 years. N.C. State University economist Michael Walden focuses even further in the future. Walden’s latest book projects North Carolina top challenges and opportunities in 2050. Walden shares key themes from North Carolina Beyond the Connected Age. In the age of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, N.C. state government is taking a closer look at the threats posed by government insiders who compromise private data and information. Maria Thompson, the state’s chief information risk officer, recently offered lawmakers an update of her work. There’s no simple blueprint for advancing public policy goals. But John Locke Foundation Chairman John Hood recently offered some ideas during a presentation for the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. Hood’s advice boiled down to four basic messages: dream big, start small; yearn to learn; engage before you wed; and what’s right is rarely wrong. The rest of the speech explained the deeper meanings of those ideas. State education officials have released plenty of information in recent weeks about student performance in North Carolina’s public schools. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, sifts through the data and highlights key findings. Stoops explains the significance of the numbers for efforts to improve public education in North Carolina.

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From Cherokee to current attack 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 public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio live Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state.

You might make plans for next week or next year but are you looking ahead 30 years in the future will chat with an NC state economist whose making projections about North Carolina in the year 2050. In the age of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. North Carolina is taking new steps to prevent insiders from threatening state government data Euler details.

There's no easy recipe for advancing public policy goals but you learn some basic guidelines for the chairman of the John lock foundation and will examine some of the most significant facts and figures linked to North Carolina's public schools. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us. She has the Carolina Journal headline.

It is no secret that relations have been a bit testy between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's administration and the Republican-led Gen. assembly, but is Carolina Journal, associate editor, danwei has been reporting the controversy surrounding the $57.8 million discretionary fund that is attached to the Atlantic coast pipeline deal has made things a bit worse. Dan is here to tell us what some political analysts have been telling him he's been reporting. Of course at Carolina. Journal.com Dan welcome back to the show so the Cooper administration seem to be a bit caught off guard by the reaction to a couple of things recently number one, the administration's approval of the Atlantic coast pipeline into North Carolina and then also the reaction to this discretionary fund that was apparently negotiated separately, but attached to the pipeline deal what you make of this.

You been covering this whole story will surprises that the ministration was surprise about the reaction is what they did was outside the bounds of normal legislative process state constitution gives a general assembly.

The power of the purse basically so budget issues and appropriations are supposed to go to the general assembly what the governor attempted to do here was to circumvent that process. So obviously whatever tension there between the two branches, the approval of the pipeline itself also got some pushback from some folks who would generally be considered to be in the governor's camp. Some of the environment, environmentalists, folks who didn't want that deal to go through so it seemed to me they kind of had pushback on from both angles people that would traditionally support him and then other people said he wait a second you're sorta cutting us out of this deal right is no secret that there are opponents. The pipeline in the continued protest is this continues the process continues. So what many people think is a governor tried to play both sides proving the pipeline where you say they were creating jobs, recruiting opportunities and also with this separate deal that he orchestrated be able to do some business development. He called jobs as well as renewable energy projects so that he may have attempted to give the folks on the left a little bit of thought or say okay well he was abusive for work in the eastern part of the state as well. It's been very interesting I think to watch the reaction in the media coverage and in some cases it's been predictable. People who generally support the governor will defend him.

People who generally oppose his policies will say he shouldn't have done this, but Dan what I love about time your latest reporting on this@carolinajournal.com is that you went to several political analysts who really aren't looking at this from a Democratic perspective or Republican perspective there on the outside looking in and assessing how the governor in general is conducting his business and they told you some fascinating things.

That was the major my report I wanted to go beyond the politics of his morning's policy issue and whether or not the governor was on solid footing with the way he handled the matter and what I was told by the sum of these political observers was that they felt he missed a golden opportunity to build to bring the two sides together. There was enough credit there for everyone to share heavy going through the normal process involves legislature, they still could have done the press releases and the public appearance of saying hey look what we've done is a wide bridge between the executive and the legislative branch right now. Lotto lawsuits are also bridging the vetoes in the veto override so it's been a very rocky relationship since he's been inaugurated and this was a discipline. Analysts say probably the governor shooting himself in the foot is rather curious some to your point about Ted trying to reach out and and perhaps find an issue upon which he could get some Republican support. Talking about lower-cost energy coming into the state through the Atlantic coast pipeline you're talking about some job creation some economic development and the eastern part of the state. It is really had scratcher as to why. Perhaps some of his advisors didn't say to him, look here something where you can actually be seen as reaching out to the other side, which in many cases North Carolina and say they want to see right and that's where some of the political analyst question of the inner circle that the Cooper has surrounded himself with, whether they're giving him good advice on probably should assume this is the land minded and the he stepped on. Somehow he was blind to the fallout that happened and that's kind of puzzling why someone who's been in the public realm as long as he has could have foreseen that abdomen and the fallout really has not died down. In fact, in just a few days. Sam looks like there may be a legislative hearing you have Emma state legislator who has now made a request that there be a legislative hearing looking into exactly how this whole deal. The discretionary fund. Nearly $58 million. How the whole process came about and why the Gen. assembly was essentially cut out of this and as you said, they are the appropriators of that the state coffers. This was Centerville Rabun is the central chairman and this is another piece of the rocky relationship rehearsal. The governor has refused to release the public records involving much of the formation of this $50 million fund and the Republicans a request that repeatedly he's not complied that he gave some of this information they are requesting to a television station so that way second. That's an interesting point in and of itself, so the legislature had requested documents about how this all came together, and they couldn't get them right in the lighted television station was able to get them right.

We request the same records and we've not gotten them either. So this is kind of like rubbing salt in the wound time writing so that was what prompted Sen. Raven to seek this legislative oversight hearing in the joint legislative and national energy policy also had a hearing in which it was determined from questioning the state Department of environmental quality officials, whether or not there permitting process took care of all the issues for mitigation, environmental disturbance restoration. The Department of environmental quality officials so yeah everything that needed to be done would've been taken care of through our normal process that this outside deal that the governor made would have done nothing in terms of repairing any damage to streams and wetlands buffers. Those were all taken care of through the permitting process and that the utility partners are going to put up $6 million is the sum total for everything they have to restore to its natural state after they're done constructing the pipeline. The governor asked for 10 times that amount in his separate phone so so Dan then what was this $57.8 million separate deal all about.

If the mitigation funds were already taking care of through the permitting process through the Republicans think that it was all about. The governor will allow some goodies spend repeatedly call the slush fund on the Jews governor of shaking down utility companies and that he would build put this money out there for crony companies to do things or whatever to score political points mess with their viewing and Dan before we leave the story this week. Give us send a summary of where that actually stands right now the governor, originally in this memorandum of understanding had set this up so that he would control along with the board.

He would control those funds.

What happened will is been a bill passed by the Gen. assembly to take control of money given to the counties through its pipeline passes North Carolina for educational purposes.

The money has not been received.

Whether the companies will give the money now to the state is up in the air. Dan way is associate editor of Carolina Journal statement is much more 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 Journal.com tackles those questions every day. The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina Journal imprint each month and on the web each day at Carolina. Journal.com 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 news stories and important public events@carolinajournal.tv and the voices of the newsmakers themselves at Carolina Journal radio and print on the air and on the web.

You can find the information you need@carolinajournal.com welcome back Carolina Journal radio I Michiko got many of us think about what could happen next week, next month may be the next year, but what about in 10, 20 or even 30 years down the road next guest is been thinking about these issues and writing about them. Dr. Michael Walden is an economist at North Carolina State University is also author of the new book North Carolina beyond the connected age the Tar Heel state in 2050 will go back to the program. Thank you much. Why did you decide it was good idea to look ahead to 2050 project where the state well it's about a serious answer nonservice is 2050 I thought was a counter flashing here means midcentury. It's far enough away that people can spend months the future but it's not that far away that we can conceive of. Maybe taking some action today that might influence where we are. That's a serious answer the nonserious answer is if I'm around in 2050 will be 99. So if there is none of my predictions come true. And people say Bartman's Walden boy did a horrible job. I don't care. Just be happy to have seen it by that point. So the book takes a look at North Carolina in terms of population jobs economy. Those sorts of things it does. It's actually a sequel to the book I wrote about 10 years ago called North Carolina in the connected age which documented the change that we have seen in the 20th century, motor tobacco, textiles, furniture, state to what we are now in the impacts on people in jobs and industries and geographical areas. This says all right here we are now got the economy we have now. What's gonna happen in future. So yeah, looking at how those major aspects of affect people's lives, jobs, industries where people live.

I talked some about natural resources. I do think were going to grow. I think we are about 3 million more people between now and in 2050.

So, for example, the more water need more electricity so I talked about some of those issues as well as government government policies tax systems that we might want to think about to adapt to this new economy.

So were going to see growth going to have those needs. What are some of the other things that you put out there on the table that we need to be considering well. I think I think probably the biggest issue I talk about is one that's gotten a lot of press nationally because it's same mission the nation is North Carolina's jobs looking to changes that were going to heaven jobs, particularly how will technology affect jobs or some very well done and very well respected economic studies that have been done. In fact, MIT released when I think two weeks ago that said half of the days occupations half won't be around by midcentury. There are other studies that say well that's that's overdone, but I think clearly, we can already see where technology and the fact that technology is getting more adapt about doing more things. It's not just technology coming to the assembly line and putting fenders on cars as they go by.

It's now artificial intelligence. It's now capability for machines to think faster than humans can think, for example.

So there are some who say even so-called white-collar job professional job. Some of those will go away because technology will do that. So I spent a lot of time talking about that talking II run some numbers about well, look how could that affect more toys economy I will.

We have new jobs in particular talk about where I think the areas we might have job growth will occur because the first time we've had technological change that affects employment when going through that in the last hundred years, at least twice, and we've always seem to create new jobs and that's probably what most economists would think, but there some as big know this time is different.

That is the voice of Dr. Michael Walden professor at economist at North Carolina State University also author of this new book, North Carolina beyond the connected age the Tar Heel state in 2050.

Now some people are going to be reading this from the vantage point of all this is interesting to look ahead and see what might be happening. Others will say okay this book gives us a sense of what we need to be planning for what we need to be talking about today so that will go to be the best place possible in 2050. From that vantage point. What sorts of things do you see that we need to be discussing thinking about now taken and I do address saddening addresses from private sector as well as public sector. I think in terms of private sector. One of the clear trends and I don't think many people dispute this is that were to be an older society in 2050 and in the 2010 census, 13% of North Carolinians were 65 and over in the 2050 census is expected to be 21% affect every things can affect every business so one of things I tell business outside of audiences.

I talked to got have a plan to reach that benchmark I think. Also, if we do have technological change and clearly that is can affect some occupations people need to think about if there occupations downsized. What am I gonna get retrained for so I think every work order have in the back pocket.

Some alternative they might want to pursue on the public sector side. I think what I just said has great implications for educational system, particularly about high school because I think were going to have to be more flexible for resources because there be some majors will need any longer. Some new major so universities, colleges have to shift things around and I also think they will see a different kind of student coming. Normally, most are students writing a 22 I think it in the future we could see a lot of 30-year-olds 40.50 years old who just are there because their occupational away so I think those are some of the major implications. I talked about UN economist and economists have to deal with trade-offs. So if if we start devoting more resources to one thing today. That means resources.

We can't devote to something else later. How important is it for people who are looking ahead that far down the road not to do too much today that would handcuff them in the future well and we think about this mailing the public sector and I do think that any educational area we may need to be devoting more resources to K-12, which means that unless were to spend a lot more money in total will have to look for getting those funds from somewhere else. I think universities particular than have to get more private sector finance.

He states a good example of this. We built a whole new campus Centennial campus with a lot of private funds. Its operator of pipelines. I think that's gonna be more the model for universities in the future. I also think hope that we can use technology to improve the efficiency of government.

I think technology can have a big effect on our our highway system.

There are some who say that right. Sharon is going to be the mode of the future and they predict maybe 90% drop in car ownership, which means we probably won't need as many roads out there that could be definitely be a good trend and then in healthcare, which does affect North Carolina in the sense that we share in the Medicaid funding with the federal government.

Hopefully technology will start to bring some some efficiencies to healthcare that will help us reach more people more effectively. I also will loop back to one of the words that you used earlier that was flexibility, something the government often has trouble with how important is it that we dedicate this idea of being flexible enough to deal with the change in condition and that is hard to do. I think any any bureaucracy resist whether it's in the private sector, public sector resist flex building on the private sector. You got the profit motive got a clear line of of control so Salesian resource around. Not so much in the in the public sector is one of things I been telling my colleagues at the University is were going to need to start to monitor occupational changes and not be afraid to shift resource around NC states actually done some of this in the past decade.

It's been subtle but they done some of this.

So I think that's gonna be incredibly important not just in terms of keeping a moderate level of taxation were not funny things we don't need, but also in terms of responding to these changes. For example, in term and in the workforce were be different occupations.

We need to train people for and maybe not as much training other areas you can learn much more about these issues by reading the book. It is titled North Carolina. Beyond the connected age the Tar Heel state in 2050. Its author is Dr. Michael Walden, a professor at economist at North Carolina's diversity think so much for doing level Carolina journal radio. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping. North Carolina's freedom movement@northcarolinaconservative.com.

You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James G Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council.

That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com. Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John lock foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John lock 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. 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 lock 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 assess the John Locke foundation.

So here's how it works long time to smile.amazon.com 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 to be sure to designate the Locke 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 smile.amazon.com today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation.

Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Mitch co-guide with cases in the headlines involving such infamous characters as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning North Carolina state government is now looking at threats to its data from government insiders state chief information risk officer Marcia Thompson recently offered lawmakers a status report.

We are at our infancy stage within the state of North Carolina of establishing a program for insider threat detection and mitigation. So, just so you're aware we are working on that definitely the first thing that we focused on was establishing a governance for this insider threat is not just the key thing it's not just an IT problem at what IT brings is in measures and to enable us to detect what those insider threats. Actions could be, but it is an ecosystem in order to within an organization to to build a robust, insider threat program and to identify what these actions could be, whether they're malicious or not malicious insider insider could be anyone.

It could be. Obviously, FMS Snowden, we have Chelsea Manning and we also have a could be the little lady that works in our library. Our systems and insider threats could be an intentional action or unintentional action and we see a huge increase in insider threats globally within companies that we are frankly not prepared to react to because were not really doing the things and when I say we not just to say, but as a whole. In order to identify these actions that are occurring on our network is 70% of the tax from insiders and I know you know when you hear that it's it's an alarming you're thinking that will be spending a lot of money on on protecting people coming in when it's usually a lot of cases it's the people from inside and remember this number counts those folks that have inadvertently misconfigured systems that are being hacked 29% stole information on the way out the door and this is why so important that we have processes in place within organizations to ensure that when were going to terminate our personnel that we restrict their access prior to and we are actually making sure that we are monitoring what their activities are prior to leaving that organization.

9% were saboteurs, so by large that the Snowden's of the world. Their smaller smaller footprints or they are the folks that are actually negatively impacting your systems by whether they're placing Trojan viruses and sewn us off and so forth out the door smaller than someone taking your data and not leaving your environment environment. Thompson says training and awareness are key tools in helping to battle insider threats against government data will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment real influence.

You either have it or you don't and at the John Locke foundation. We do, and that's not bluster in a private survey of more than 250 North Carolina political insiders 87% said we influence them either a great deal a good amount.

So while others talk and complain. We get to work providing research solutions and help our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse that is the envy of every other state are researchers actually help policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you earn. Expand your choice of schools for your kids.

Widen your job opportunities and improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future. The John Locke foundation were dedicated to making North Carolina first and freedom were dedicated to you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Mitch co-guide people interested in advancing public policy should remember some basic lessons. That's the message from John Locke foundation chairman John Hood. He outlined the lessons during a recent speech for the leadership Institute in Washington DC. The first one is dream big.

Start small if you don't have a big audacious vision for change. No one is going to follow you anywhere. I dreamed that one day in our town were Democrats beat us for one we would be beaten by 3 to 1. Know this is that this is not a big audacious string on the other hand, if you were to organize. Actually, this is literally what happened. My friend Jim Martin who eventually became the governor of Carolina. He was a professor of chemistry at Davidson.

He had a PhD from Princeton in organic chemistry.

Hopefully, by the way when he was in Congress, in the 70s.

He was instrumental in saving Sweet and low saccharin. He and Teddy Kennedy.

By the way, allied to save Teddy Kennedy was no stranger to sugars, it turns out that they did save Sacra anyway when he was a professor at Davidson. He really was tasked with they were losing the particular town is a very liberal college town in North Carolina. Never lose the Republicans were losing 41 and in a subsequent election. They really did just lose 3 to 1, and that was actually a step toward something good. In other words, the dream is not to lose by 3 to 1, but if you go for the 1 to 32121. You are moving in the right direction. So have a big audacious dream motivate people also promise and by the next election.

We will be in charge and Social Security will be privatized or you know the flat tax will be passed on the if you have a goal, a long-term goal. This audacious, great. If you then insist on immediately winning everything you want, you will disparate your followers they will lose interest and so there's a calibration here between have a big goal but we willing to get there in stages, pretty much everything that is useful has been done in stages. Again, we as conservatives recognize even when we are trying to change things. There is a certain natural status quo bias the people have their comfortable what they have trying to get them to do something different. We do want to do that, you might have to get there in stages.

That's okay. Good's first lesson for advancing public policy. Dream big. Start small.

Second lesson is your own to learn you don't know everything. I don't know everything. None of us can know everything but I guarantee you there's lots of important things that you don't know sitting here today, no matter how old you are and how much experience you have the politicians that I know that are successful in the long run are always learning political activists that I know that are successful in the long run are always learning. They are curious people they want to know new things. One of things I can tell about young people, whether they're going to be successful is that they asked me lots and lots of questions of this the boys we sometimes but if they don't asked me questions if they don't express curiosity is kind of a warning sign with politics. In particular, there's always something to learn to him atop the technology politics is constantly changing. That's not how we did it back in my day is we've all said that we've all probably meant that, but that's not necessarily a good side, yeah, okay. But that is the way we did it back in the old days and that's not what how we do it now have to learn new things constantly. That's the voice of John Locke foundation chairman John Hood speaking recently to the leadership Institute in Washington DC. He's outlining key lessons for advancing public policy.

The third lesson is engaged before you wed.

Now this is excellent marital advice, but that's not quite what I mean what I mean by this and am very serious about this.

In today's context you need to figure out how to engage people that you don't agree with. There is no reason why plot politics and political conversation public policy debate has to be Armageddon is Senate Nancy Pelosi said the other day.

Just a silly claim tax cut might be bad it might be good and will never be Armageddon. But the point is, if you can't imagine why somebody disagrees with you. You will not be successful. I can't. I don't know anybody who voted for Donald Trump. I don't know anybody you vote for Hillary Clinton.

But it's a bad sign is. Don't you all know people who voted for one of the other. I do okay. And the truth is, human beings are rich, complex creatures, and you can learn things from people who had very different political views from you at the very least, you can learn why they think the way we think. If you're trying to persuade someone you better be able to make their argument in your head or you'll never be able to win the argument in the point I mean by engage before you wed is don't wed yourself to any particular strategy any particular goal or bill until you have a clear sense of why somebody else would be against it. If you can imagine why anybody would ever be against this bill that has never passed, you will fail. So engage before you wed is good advice. And when politicians do it when they engage effectively across the aisle, learning from others not, selling out your principles are becoming a Bush. I just made if if if you know people in the Congress were legislatures and they don't have a good friend from the other side of the aisle. That's also a bad sign that person is probably unlikely to succeed if our goal is to succeed, and not just to say were playing the game. One of the ways you succeeded. You deeply understand your opponents. One of the best ways to do that is to actually befriend one, it's okay not to be excommunicated, it's okay. And also by the way, we ought to be able to have conversations about our political differences and not get into shouting matches and insults deeply offended by this, I think we as conservatives should be offended by this, we are often the targets of this kind of behavior and returning fire strikes me is not the right answer here is to is to seek something better than that John Hood offered his Washington audience. One more basic lesson for advancing public policy what's right is rarely wrong.

Now I could mean what's right with the R that's of course true conservatism is really wrong that's not quite what I mean or what I mean is when you when you do things according to your principles what you believe to be right in the long run. Most of the time. This is in your personal self-interest. This will save you lots and lots of heartache. Human life is a complicated enterprise. We all have tough choices we often make Mr. Weir fallen creatures. We make mistakes wheeled the temptations, but the truth is that sometimes we make things overly complicated. Well, I know this is the right thing to do but it will cost me something. It will make me unpopular.

It might affect my next election, and therefore I won't do it. This is a mistake. Do what you think is right and more often than not over the long run it will work out for itself.

That's John Locke foundation chairman John Hood spelling out for basic lessons for advancing public policy. Dream big.

Start small urine to learn engage before you wed what's right is rarely wrong could outline these lessons during a recent speech to the leadership Institute in Washington DC will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment a commitment to truth and transparency in government.

That is the mission of Carolina journal and we are proud to deliver and now proud to tell you the North Carolina press Association has honored to members of our team with awards for reporting and writing, that's right, we really do deliver award-winning journalism we shine the light on government spending, reveal the truth about boondoggles and dig deep into programs paid for with your tax money. We keep you in the know in a way other media outlets don't in our reach and influence are growing all of our outlets. We reach more than 1 million N. Carolinians each month so make sure you're one of them. Our monthly print edition arrives in your mailbox every month. Our online daily news site Carolina journal.com has fresh stories, opinion pieces, and more.

The award-winning Carolina journal team I reporters make government accountable to you. Call 1866 JL FINF04 your free subscription, welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez new data about the state's public school system is now shining a bit of light on things like spending teacher pay and incidents of school crime Dr. Terry stoops is the John Locke foundation's vice president for research is also the director of education studies and taking a look at all of this new data analyzing it for us and he joins us now with the information Terry. Welcome back to the show. Thank you. Let's talk first about spending some folks who don't follow the budget as closely as you and I do might be a bit surprised to find out how much money North Carolina taxpayers actually pay to operate the K-12 system.

Tell us about that well.

Total spending across all revenue sources is about 13 billion and a good portion of that close to 9 billion comes from state taxpayers and then another portion comes from local taxpayers and really just a small amount about 1.5 billion will come from the federal government so really North Carolina taxpayers are committing a good deal of their tax dollars to public education in North Carolina and the figures keep going up that's that's the other bottom line here is that there's been no decrease over the years. Now may not be keeping up with inflation as much as it should, but the amount that the state spends on our public schools is increasing, not decreasing. And if my memory serves, I think it takes up about 39% or so of the states general operating fund so that is a huge chunk of money is always gonna be a discussion about is it enough. Is it too little. Is it too much is it about right where you come down on that question in terms of funding relevant to know how it spent and whether it's being spent in a productive way.

If you look at some of the school districts across North Carolina. What you'll find is school districts that don't spend a whole lot of money but get great results and then you have school districts spend a lot of money and don't get very good results at all.

And the question is why does that occur and what can we do to address the issue of state of school districts receiving per-pupil expenditures that far exceed the state average and yet the performance of their students is way below the state average. That's what I worry about.

How is that money being spent is being spent in a productive way. Miller was what kind of bang for the buck. Are we getting that is the question that we need to ask, and often especially in the media of the question that's asked is how much are we spending I want to ask the question is question of are we spending the money in a productive and efficient way when you mention the media that's a perfect transition to you another piece of data that you've been writing about it. John Locke.org and that is teacher pay or seeing an increase in the average teacher pay. Where do we stand now. Well, the average teacher pay in North Carolina is now over $51,000.

That's about a $1200 increase from the year prior and North Carolina's teacher pay has gone up every year for the last four maybe five years and the reason why is because investments in the teacher pay have been made by the Gen. assembly. Various increases ranging from about 1% up to 7% on average. So they have made substantial investments in teacher salaries. The one thing to remember is this is an average all teachers of the minimum, a teacher can make is $35,000 and this average really speaks to the experience level and the credentials the teachers have because the way we pay teachers is based on how long they've been in the classroom in which credentials they have, so that is one aspect of this average teacher pay question that we hear so much about where does it come from and what does it really mean. On one hand it is an indicator of how much money were spending for teacher pay. On the other hand it's an indicator of the relative experience level of the teacher workforce that we have in North Carolina. You mentioned that were paying teachers based on the credentials and sometimes you call those the inputs out for a teacher, are we making any progress in North Carolina towards trying to recognize and pay really effective teachers based on the outcome, and that would be the achievement of their students.

Yeah, the Gen. assembly has made this a centerpiece of one of their reform strategies and that's to identify places where we should be paying high-performing teachers more grade reading teachers career technical education teachers. Teachers that teach advanced placement courses. These are all teachers that can receive a pay supplement based on funds that the state sets aside for teachers that excel in these areas now.

This isn't necessarily a way to somehow boost the performance of these high-performing teachers. The idea here is to make sure these teachers stay in the classroom. That's the purpose of any sort of pay boost for teachers is retention, not necessarily increasing the performance after all these high-performing teachers already interesting that you bring that up because I know you also follow that the question of teachers who leave the North Carolina public school system and you can analyze that as well and found some interesting information about those types of teachers compared to the people who stay in their effectiveness. What you find will. This is based on a revised. This is based on a report that that is revised every year by the Department of Public instruction and they look at the state of the teacher profession. How many teachers are leaving and coming teachers are moving from one district to another and lately they've been analyzing what the teachers look like that are leaving compared to those who are staying what they have found is that the teachers who leave on average are less effective than those that stay.

That's good turnover that is the kind of turnover we want in our public schools because why in the world would we ever want bad teachers or teachers that don't perform on par with their peers to stay in the classroom them to provide inferior education for children so that to me is a great news. That's great news that accompanies the turnover report is that those that are leaving are less capable than those who are staying in and that's one of the things one of the takeaways from this annual report that the Department of Public instruction produces Terry. There is no doubt that being a teacher is not an easy job. You've been a teacher yourself and you're now an analyst and a researcher. It's a tough thing walking into a classroom and some of the data at that time you been looking at that's been coming out of Department of Public instruction really shines the light on. Tough it can be in a classroom were talking about crimes and suspensions and expulsions them. In other words, kids were really challenge for the school system. The teachers and mama present their parents as well. What you find there overseeing a general decrease in reported crimes and these are crimes that cross all kind of different categories from very serious and not so serious, but the trend has been a decrease some areas like long-term suspensions, decreases been pretty significant over 30% in other areas such as the overall crime rate releasing about a 4% decrease. So it's trending in the right direction. But really, in the scheme of things, it's probably not noticeable to teacher there always be student misbehavior.

There will always be problems in the classroom but it's good to know that there is less crime in schools that is being reported by teachers.

Now that this is the one knock on this report is that these are reported crimes and so it begs the question of what about the unreported crimes and we just really can't get a good grasp on that. But the fact that we are seeing a decrease in reported crimes, expulsions, short-term suspensions, long-term suspension means that the academic environment that we are creating in our schools is improving rather than deteriorate and very quickly. Terry, when you say crimes what kind of things are you talking about classroom while they can be anything that ranged from theft to possession of a firearm and I know the Parkland school shooting has some people concerned about firearms and what the report found is that there are actually fewer reported instances of students having firearms or explosives. Unfortunately, put those two together, but there are fewer instances of that vendor have been in the past we've been talking with Dr. Terry stoops Terry before she can read all of Terry's analysis John Locke.org all the time. We hamper the show this week really appreciate you listening again next week for another edition of Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John lock to learn more about the John Locke foundation including donations and support programs. Carolina Journal radio sending email to development John Locke.66 GLM info 166-553-4636 Journal radio protection of the John life foundation airline is maintaining Carolina run system. All opinions expressed on this program nearly formation about Michelle or other programs and services in the John life foundation missing John Lott three and eight like to thank our wonderful radial cross North Carolina and are sponsored Carolina Journal radio again


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