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Carolina Journal Radio No. 743: Long-running school funding lawsuit hits milestone

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
August 14, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 743: Long-running school funding lawsuit hits milestone

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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August 14, 2017 12:00 am

Twenty years have passed since the N.C. Supreme Court issued the first of its two rulings in the state’s long-running Leandro lawsuit. The case pits small, low-wealth school systems against the state in a clash over the state constitution’s guarantee that each student will have an opportunity for a “basic, sound education.” The 20th anniversary of the landmark court decision has prompted two recent developments. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, analyzes those developments. You might reflexively answer “no” when asked whether N.C. legislators deserve a pay increase. But Duke University political scientist Nicholas Carnes suggests you might want to rethink that initial reaction. Carnes has studied the impact of higher legislative pay on the quality of legislative work and the type of people who run for office. He shares his findings. The Washington, D.C., headlines suggest that members of Congress spend all their time fighting partisan battles. First-term Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina says the truth is much different. During a recent speech in Asheville, Tillis explained that his service on the highly contentious Judiciary Committee has led to opportunities for bipartisan cooperation. Almost every structure built in North Carolina requires some type of permit. Reviews connected to those permits can lead to lengthy construction delays. A piece of legislation moving through the General Assembly this year aims to improve permitting efficiency. You’ll hear highlights from a legislative committee debate on the process. A committee of the UNC system’s Board of Governors has voted to ban UNC-Chapel Hill’s civil rights center from filing lawsuits. Chapel Hill campus leaders oppose the change. Carolina Journal Associate Kari Travis has been covering the story. She shares the latest developments and discusses whether the full BOG is likely to support the ban.


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 at Muskoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. Many of us would quickly answer no.

If asked if state legislators deserve a pay raise. Will check with the Duke University political scientist who suggests we might want to reconsider. Read the headlines and you might think members of the U.S. Senate spent all their time fighting partisan battles. North Carolina's junior senator explains why that's not so almost every building project in North Carolina requires some type of permit learned about legislation designed to make the permitting process more efficient and will discuss the latest developments in the controversy surrounding the UNC law schools civil rights Center and its ability to file lawsuits. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline I sound basic education in 1997, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that every child has that right under the North Carolina Constitution. Two decades later the Leandra case continues on with the question still unresolved about exactly how to implement and measure that requirement. And now Gov. Roy Cooper is entered this story, Dr. Terry stoops is the vice president for research. The director of education studies for the John Locke foundation. He has followed this case literally for years. He joins us now with the very latest Terry, welcome back. Thank you. Let's set the stage here in 1994 we had five rural North Carolina school districts.

They sued the state of North Carolina and their contention was that they were lower income counties that they couldn't raise the kind of property tax revenue that wealthier counties could raise and they felt that that put kids in those school districts at a distinct disadvantage.

So they sued tell us what happened.

Well, they did sue and that initially the case was dismissed, but he came back with the North Carolina Supreme Court determining that there was some right to a sound basic education.

Now here's here's the interesting thing that happened. Typically, when the North Carolina Supreme Court would rule on the case of either go to a federal court or be over. But in this case, they remanded the case to the to a superior courts and specifically to judge Howard Manning of the Superior Court. So in 1999, Judge Howard Manning had another series of hearings and over the next two years published for memoranda. The talked about in detail what this meant. What this idea of a sound basic education meant and then in subsequent years. Judge Manning would call in folks in the Department of Public instruction for testimony on whether the state was meeting that requirement and he would scold essentially say you're not meeting that requirement.

That's right.

And he would put staff out of the Department of Public instruction on the stand and asked some pointed questions about whether student performance, particularly in low income and rural counties was meeting his standards and the constitutional standards of sound basic education Terry. That phrase is really interesting and apparently that's the nut of the issue here how you interpret that phrase. What really means is it about money that these counties somehow should have the state appropriating to them additional money or is it about student achievement and effectiveness. When you use money.

Judge Manning was adamant about the fact that it wasn't just about money was the quality of the staff the principles and the teachers that these counties were employing. That was the real problem and what he would do is he would compare the amount spent in one county compared to other counties and say okay you spend less than County acts, but you're performing better and so this is really about the quality of the staff and he understood in a very basic level that it's the quality of the teacher. The quality of the principle of equality. The staff in that school building that has the greatest effect on student achievement is not just about the amount of money spent in this case started out as an equity case case that would be about. Are we spending enough or is each system getting a certain amount of money should we equalize how much they get. Went to an adequacy case are they getting an adequate amount of money and Judge Manning said yes they are there to start using it the right way is this even resolvable if it comes to adequacy well here's the problem is that the plaintiffs don't want it to be resolved.

Their ultimate goal in my mind is to have the courts force the state to increase the per pupil expenditure.

This is the goal for a lot of these lawsuits that came out of the mid 1990s, and we saw these lawsuits in many other states, with the goal of trying to get the courts to compel states to throw more money at public school now.

Not all states were willing to do that in effect we see in some states today.

Some of these cases that have come up where they are actually forcing the state to throw more money at public schools North Carolina has been unwilling to do that. Mostly because the judiciary has been very sensitive to the fact that it's the legislature and not the judiciary that this determines where the money goes in North Carolina and so there is a separation of powers issue that they haven't been willing to cross, but we have folks that want the state judiciary to cross that line, and now Gov. Roy Cooper has created a commission would tell us about that. Well, the commission would be just a way to continue to get the state to try to get the state to increase the amount of money I mean he talks about resources and when Gov. Cooper talks about resources you talk about money's not talking about human resources and so this is going to be a way to try to use the gene, the judicial system is a way to try to hammer the legislature into spending more money.

I think that is going to be the outcome of this group that he's putting together is that's going to be the major recommendation I can tell you right now.

Let's have another major recommendation even without hearing or even knowing who's appointed to it. That's what they're going to recommend now. Meantime, an additional development that has come to the fore is that the parties in the lawsuit actually want to consultant right and what about well judge Howard Manning has retired from the bench and so there was no there's been some talk about whether we could get a judge that would replace him. That would have the kind of effect that he did on making sure that the Constitution constitutional requirement was being met and so I think the idea now is is that rather than looking at whether there is a judge on the bench that could take over for Manning have the consultant come in and advise the court on what the court should do now. I'm really worried about having an outside consultant come in and do this because it begs a lot of questions of what kind of power will they have will the courts be compelled to follow through and what the consultant recommends is just a lot of unanswered questions about it. Plus were looking at consultants that they have a specific ideology that they're trying to advance and if that's the case, then this is just going to be a set up to try to get the judges to order the state to spend more money. Is it reasonable to think then that whatever comes out of the Gov.'s commission and if this consultancy goes forward that it's all going to end up at the door of the state legislature absolutely and you know we have seen increases in public school expenditures since the Republicans have been in charge, but of course that hasn't been satisfactory to the many public school advocacy groups out there that would like to see us contribute even more money to our public school system.

So it's not about just increasing. It's about massive increases in public school expenditures to a level that is satisfactory to the advocacy groups, mainly those who benefit from more money going into the system North Carolina Association of educators and many other groups that have been pushing for the Gen. assembly to spend more money. Terry, you said at the beginning started as an equity case and then it turned into an adequacy case, how to determine if you should determine what is a quote adequate education. Well, it's obviously it's very arbitrary and so you know that's really the danger of having the courts try to make this determination of what is an adequate amount of money and we really don't have any good answer research doesn't give us much of a very good answer on what is an adequate amount of money and we know that you know that not all school systems of the same and what may be adequate. One school system may not be adequate another, and so to make a determination that the state has to hit one level or another is kind of silly talking with Dr. Terry stoops. He is the vice president for research. Also, the director of education studies for the John Mott foundation. Thank you. Thank you. Say with as much more Carolingian 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 in print each month and on the web each 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 in print on the air and on the web.

You can find the information you back Carolina journal radio I Michiko got should members of the North Carolina Gen. assembly get a pay raise before you answer with a resounding no. I want to hear what our next guest has to say Nicholas Carnes is assistant professor of public policy and political science at Duke University's Sanford school of public policy. He's studied the issue of how we pay our politicians. Thanks for joining us Xmas revenue much before we get into this question of whether our legislators need a pay raise. Let's remind people this isn't a full time job now for North Carolina lawmakers tell us a how we go about paying them now absolutely so when we compensate legislators in North Carolina looks a lot like what most states do little more complicated than it seems at first glance, we pay legislators a salary but it's only about 13, $14,000, a little bit more for different positions, but the average legislator doesn't take home what most people would consider a full-time paycheck another couple of exceptions that are important for people to understand. We also give legislators a per diem to cover true lodging and food and we reimburse them for their travels of the legislators in the western part of the state are paying more to send to represent their constituents in Raleigh or for the ones who are in the Far East are part of the state to they get a lot when they come, come to real bingo when people converge on Raleigh. We don't want them paying more if there from farther away exactly so. So when were talking about whether members of the gimbal simply should get a pay raise. You have to take that existing system into account, so it is looking at this issue from a scholarly perspective, how did you approach. Also, I was really interested in one of the claims that proponents of pay raises for politicians make and that is that the low pay and legislatures like North Carolina makes holding office really impossible for the average citizen of the state and that was interesting to me because what I study primarily is the economic backgrounds of economic diversity of our political institutions and so this is a really exciting idea. I think we can just bump up the pay a little bit will get a more representative mix of people coming our Gen. assembly and so you had. That is a proposition to test what you would you find as you would forward. Also one of the concerns I had going in was actually any research that supports this claim.

So when people tell you a pay raise for politicians will get you more economic diversity they're basing it on good hunches on intuition, but not on real data that would compare across states or cross countries or anything like that. And so what I want to do in my research project was actually look at the data do states that pay their legislatures more have a more economically diverse mix of people and what you find. Well the the surprise was that actually don't when a state pays more to people who hold office in the state legislature.

The economic mix of people who actually go into the state legislatures about the same or maybe even a little more tilted towards affluent and the reason is that it's not really the pay that's keeping regular citizens from serving in the general assembly or the state legislature in the first place.

No matter how much you pay a politician for holding office. The thing to remember is everybody has to give up a lot of income when they run for office. There's no salary for being a candidate and so that seems to be the bigger barrier that keeps people from throwing their hat in the ring. When I compare it to him.

It's unalike if you told me I could get $100. If I win the Raleigh city of Oaks Marathon mouse.

I can't do that. There's no way I have to train for 100,000 hours.

You tell me what what I told you the prize was $10,000. I would say let's find but I still can't do it. That's kind of the situation we find ourselves, and we think pay raises for politicians are going to give us a different mix of people. We have to remember that the thing that keeps most people out of office isn't the work of holding office itself is the work of being a candidate we are chatting with Nicholas Carnes is assistant professor of public policy and political science at Duke University's Sanford school of public policy. So back to the initial question that I asked at the top of the interview should members of the North Carolina Gen. assembly get a pay raise if I'm listening to what you're saying. It sounds to be that if your goal is to improve the economic diversity get a lot of different views then no raising their pay is to make much difference a lease based on what you found. That's right.

But what it's important to keep in mind is there other good reasons to think carefully about legislative compensation and so in my research. I also looked at other studies that have analyzed the differences between states that pay more and less, and there are actually big differences not enough who runs for office, but how much effort they devote to the task. So in a state where the legislators aren't paid as much. They tend to miss more roll call votes, they tend to be less concerned about keeping up with their constituents and what I think that reflects is just a difference in the amount of their time and energy there devoting to the task and so it's always struck me as puzzling that supporters of pay raises .2. Economic diversity is the reason to do it. I think a better argument is that states that pay their lawmakers more tend to get people who are focused more on the task of governing and representing constituents and that may be going forward. A better way for all of us to think about the complicated and thorny issue of how much to pay our politicians. That's a certainly an interesting piece to to bring up because you write the argument that you often hear for higher pay is it is hard to get people to come and serve in the gimbal assembly. So if we pay them more. We would get a different group different mix of people about what you're focusing on in this last answer is the actual effort put toward the job which a lot of us regardless of what we want to pay the legislators think should be there number one task serving us as legislators. That's right are lawmakers we have to keep in mind their people to and we know that everybody has a lot of different jobs you know we all have what we do for a living. But then we have our responsibilities to our families to our communities and it really looks like states that pay their legislators while they're in session as though it were a full-time job, get people who focus on the task of of governing, as if it were a full-time job and states that don't pay as much tend to get people for whom holding offices. It maybe takes a backseat to some of their other tasks. I understand that as you looked into this. You've also followed the specifics of the debate in North Carolina. What if you learned about how the approach of North Carolina has gone toward this idea of potentially raising pay so last February I represented Pat Hurley from Randolph County introduced House Bill 71, a bill that wouldn't actually increase the salaries paid to the general assembly, but would increase how much they are reimbursed for travel to and from this note to Raleigh and for meals and lodging. While there visiting the capital and it's been remarkable how much criticism and heat that Bill has taken from people in the general public. The headlines said no politicians just want to pay themselves more and that really elicits a powerful emotional read. I think an understandable reaction from taxpayers when they hear that kind of narrative. I think it's important for people to pay very close attention though to the legislation that's on the table today because the headline politicians are giving themselves a pay raise really mass some of the important nuances in the bill that's on the table that was on the table last February, but also I think should remind all of us how hard it is for politicians who care about setting the right pay for future legislators.

How much heat there gonna take in the moment for doing certainly very interesting topic and we know one person who will be following it closely, as North Carolina continues to debate this topic is Nicholas Carnes, assistant professor of public policy and political science at Duke University's Sanford school policy going think you have any more a Carolina Journal radio in just 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.

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Welcome back Carolina Journal radio amateur coca think members of Congress spend all their time fighting each other over partisan issues first-term Republican US Sen. Tom Tillis says that's not true.

Tillis recently spoke to a North Carolina Bar Association meeting in Asheville. He recounted the story of Senate leaders asking him to serve on the Senate's highly contentious Judiciary Committee. I remember thinking I assure how I could have a never served on committees and the majority window will we duck majority because I was elected speaker is not the first time I ever presided over a committee was just three months ago when I first presided over the Senate armed services subcommittee on personnel that on Cheiro but I served and judiciary in the minority, and I really enjoy that committee and then I thought well you document I can do. It appeared at the same staff who asked me you know what what I like most about being in Washington. They asked me what committee I'm a lot like the most and I said I love judiciary and they said wiser because it's hyper- partisan medicine. I know that sounds but but it's the committee interference Senate armed services and urine veterans in your and aging agriculture you really have to work to go those committees with a partisan edge right because it's most of us just good governance and we can debate certain issues a cover for Senate armed services, whether fundamentally not but if you think about it and judiciary committee. You are to come out with your ideological worldview have a lot to do with what you tell you what you did for what a lot about that committee is the relationship you build with the members on the other side of the if you review our committees on C-SPAN you would think that we all hated each other with Dick Durbin.

I'm working on immigration form that makes sense without Frank that I'm working on mental health reform.

It makes sense with the with the Chris Coons were working on juvenile justice sentencing reform that makes sense with Sheldon Whitehouse. I can go down the list," which are about the only one that I have a work weapon is because he doesn't focus as much on legislation because his leadership role as so Sen. Schumer so we go and not all of you. Many of your old enough to remember that old cartoon foghorn Leghorn, the rooster and the dog, walked down the date of the timecard, they go in the hole cartoons premised on this beating the tar out of each other for 15 minutes or 20 minutes and then the whistle blows they are clocked out and say have a nice weekend. That really is how it happens, and judiciary committee that's first-term US Sen. Tom Tillis Republican from North Carolina. He recently spoke to a room full of lawyers in Asheville. The topic is service of the Senate's contentious Judiciary Committee will return with more Carolina Journal radio in a moment. 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.

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Welcome back Carolina Journal radio amateur coca building almost anything in North Carolina requires government permits a bill that is clear.

The statehouse targets the permitting process. Republican state representative Scott Stone explained intent is to increase the efficiency of the permitting process in North Carolina and establish a reputation for our state as being one of the best places to do business and to build things and invest one of the main goals is that everyone who's involved in the porting process knows with the rules of the permitting process are knows what the standards are. This build is not set standards. Just make sure the people are aware of the standards.

Standards are actually here to and it only relates to construction permitting for site construction is not building permits one of the key elements is that it requires permitting to be done concurrently. Currently right now there's a lot of there are departments or state agencies. The duty sequentially.

For example, log most jurisdictions get to the entire site plan process for permits and then it goes to NC DOT in this case, NC DOT would you be doing them either concurrently or in some cases delegating the authority to look Ms. Valdez. So there are 18 jurisdictions that would receive delegated authority permits you to do site permitting and that is not unprecedented since been done for other types of types of permits, but insecurity is been very involved in this process and they support the language in the bill now how much with this bill cost. It is a nominal amount that is is reflected in their in that is related to what insecurity believes to be the cost of associated with reviewing other towns and cities that are not part of the initial review. Given that initial delegation they would this be for reviewing their century there were applications if they want to add on now with this. I don't think what this does reflect though his potential cost savings that would come with this that comes from the staff right now. Fluency DOT that is involved in his reviews in the local towns and cities. Who wouldn't be doing it now in the future. They're doing them. Now they would be doing the future because they they wouldn't have that authority and work to be delegating authority to others. So it's really a way to add efficiency process and I think it's probably either wash. If not, the cost savings potential new fees intent to the fees is to allow the cities and towns. If there is an increase in cost to them to increment a program or to implement an online permitting program with some cities and towns Artie have. If they have that process, they can implement a fee to cover that would have to be directly related to the fee. The fee has been directly related to the cost of the program we want to make sure this bill they don't have a program they say well it's gonna cost us all as x-rays we have to have a huge extra fee. It just becomes a hidden impact the this we wanted to set it to only the amounts that are actually impacting the cost has to be a direct cost to the two at the fees essentially pay for themselves is a user fee and I would say that the users of this argument very ecstatic is to cut the permitting time. Sometimes weeks if not months from the time they spent their application time to get the permit so the user fee will be very nominal but should be awash from all the other costs that's state representative Scott Stone is explaining his bill to streamline the construction permitting process in North Carolina colleague Bill Brawley had some questions for Stone delegates to sit is larger than 50,000 permit approval for DOT maintained roads and I was wondering to what extent the cities have the ability to bind videotape to expend money for road improvements. As part of this. This is essentially primarily private development is what this would be for him permits that are encroaching on the right-of-way. For example, this would not be any changes to the roadways themselves. This would be essentially and they would have to meet and security standards that the key of this is NC DOT gets to set the standards for any state maintained roads in the local Ms. Valley has to ensure that they meet those standards in their review so it does not relieve NC DOT for many of the maintenance obligations that they would already have what it does is it just takes one. One layer review out of the process so there is no state projects or federal projects or project to the city themselves are doing can be given to delegated authority.

Brawley had another question for Stone is her way of enforcing or correcting the overstep when the cities begin to do things that they're not delegated to do.

There is a provision that says that the cities cannot go beyond what the state standard is because I know sometimes you had that problem where the cities take the opportunity they go beyond what they were authorized to do this bill specifically states that the cities cannot go beyond the standard and so that that should help with this.

Also, insecurity has a review provision in here where they can monitor the cities to see make sure there inputting the program as it was intended. The language of a lot of those omens of the delegated authority came out from I think some it was identical to language that was in a bill from the 1970s called the sedimentation control act where DQ. Essentially, delegates authority to certain cities and towns and counties for stormwater permits and erosion control permit so the language is very similar to that Brawley also share concerns about local governments raising their own permitting fees. It says that the municipality may establish a fee for review of most transportation related to right away is limited by the provisions of the general statutes, but also says the local government already reviews construction plans. It may not establish an additional fee. So do I read this correctly to say that the cities can't raise fees and site state made them do it. If, for example, see God and in the city of Charlotte or Raleigh DOT in Raleigh is already looking at a set of plans and they've already got a transportation engineer looking at a roadway and then there all then they got the delegated authority already having someone look at that set of plans for the same sets of standards and so forth. It's really no extra work to look at it on behalf of the state as well. So if there is an actual additional burden to them. That's one thing but a lot of times the party gets a look at that anyway so we don't need to have an extra fee just to say hello counted twice. We want them double counting Democratic state representative Greg Meyer asked about the potential impact for environmental regulators to have a role in any of this permitting as well.

They have to do some environmental studies and and whether the impact of others or is there an impact on the Jews role. There's no impact DQ's role infected says there is a provision in this language is says nothing in this bill shall impact DQ's role or build their delegated or they are to give to cities and towns. The intent is not to have an impact than the only impact to them would be. It does establish in in the end of the bill. There's a prison says the DQ and DOT have to establish an online permitting system for their reviews but it's I think it's 2020s effectively. So it's pretty far out there.

Democrat Deb Butler offered her own assessment of the Republican sponsored bill. This bill does a good job in compelling our cities and counties, not necessarily to reduce their standards or change your standards, but to at least clearly identify the standard set of at least a developer knows what the rules of the road are so I think that that is terrific. It also seems to set some reporting standards. In other words, it was moving on down the road.

That's right, it is no point in this build is a set standards or the schedule.

What we do require is that every jurisdiction, whether there delegated authority or not. Every jurisdiction has to have a schedule for reviews and whether that's each review cycles 15 days 30 days, six months whatever it is they can set that it has to be published and has to be approved by the local governing board and then poorly have reported how we doing because you could say you're doing in 30 days.

But if you only really taken six months then you then you not being very transparent and so you're right it's it's just that this is not to set standards. Make sure everyone knows the rules. You been listening to debate about build up the permitting efficiency act.

It is clear the statehouse and remains alive in the state Senate will return with North Carolina drought radio in a moment. 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 I'm Donna Martinez, a committee of the UNC board of governors has recommended that the UNC Center for civil rights be prohibited from filing lawsuits and this recommendation has proved controversy on Carrie.

Travis is associate editor of Carolina Journal.

She was actually in that committee meeting room for the discussion in the vote.

She's been following the arguments for several months now joining us to let us know what's happening. Welcome back for so what does the UNC Center for civil rights actually do so at the center for civil rights has a couple of different purposes. At this point one is they do academic research which means that they look at cases they do studies they make policy recommendations that type of thing.

Other aspect of their work is the more controversial one which is entering into lawsuits, and actually representing clients in court and it's a lot of pro bono work for low income and minority cases so that type of thing. What has been the concern by some of the members of the board of governors. This central concern is that the center is not a law clinic and just to boil down in rough terms of the law clinic is a type of program that is actually licensed under the American Bar Association to practice law clinic. I would be more acceptable to the board of governors that model, but the center for civil rights is a research organization that attach to the University carries the name of the UNC law school and it is essentially doing state, city and County entities which the board is kind of looking at this and saying why is a state owned and operated organization that's not a law clinic suing the state interesting so taxpayers on the one hand, helping to fund this organization through UNC.

Wow, this is where it gets a little complicated that the center claims that they have 100% of their funding from private donors and foundations that they go solicit on their own.

However, they still operate with functions attached.

The University's other questions about like what about their human resources. There still carrying the weight of the name. All of the attorneys that are actually working at the center with the students are UNC professors so they're not necessarily technically run by taxpayer money, but there's still enough of that attachment by name and association to money funneled through the UNC system so that's gotten us some members of the board of governors a little bit to perturbed. I think this is fair to say I want one in particular proposed doing some some things with this center. There were several options that were up for discussion. You are in that room, tell us what happened. So Steve Long, who is a member of the board of governors is an attorney here in Raleigh. He's the one who brought forward the proposal to ban the center from entering into lawsuits they would be able to represent client in court, they wouldn't be able to buy essentially attach themselves to cases there before being represented by other law firms, they would be solely restricted to their research pursuits, which sounds like actually there written mission. Being a research organization yes and that that has been the main argument presented by the board of governors that they are designed to be a research organization that they should not be suing the state, city and County entities that they formerly have been, so the proposal that was put forth in that meeting only applies to banning litigation for academic research centers. It won't cover Locke links law clinics in the UNC system will still be able to operate in their full function. Students will be able to go into court and represent cases and make arguments under the American Bar Association rules in the law clinics now on the counter side you have the members and staffers of the center were very upset about this. Understand lease now because of what they're doing now is that is less heavy-handed on the research side and more heavy-handed litigation side through a lot of their funding apparently comes from naming that argument and executive director of the center Ted Shaw throughout a few choice names for Gov. Stephen Long, which was one of them was calling in the moving assassin towards the center pretty heated during that discussion is that vote was about to take place not fair to say no love lost between those two folks, absolutely none.

I talked to Mr. Long after the meeting and asked him for a reaction to that moving assassin." And he paused for a long moment and then said that it was very unprofessional and pretty upsetting now regardless of how the debate went to dinner was time for the vote and this thing passed overwhelmingly out of this committee. It did, there was a bit of a surprise with the chair of the committee for the Governors member Anna Nelson voting no against it, but it passed 521 on the committee one abstention from the vote, and Mr. Darrell Allison, who is a newcomer to the board and this thing will probably go before the entire board in September, so Carrie UNC Chancellor Carol Fuld also made some comments about this and you reported on on her comments as well. As she was concerned about this upcoming vote and now, this is going on. I will go to the full board of governors over her comments. Her comments were that this will tarnish the reputation of the University. She has received hundreds of letters to her account from University faculty, administrators, presidents, chancellors from around the nation. She is concerned about civil rights education for law students as well and one of her other arguments was that as far as the future of that training for students.

She's not quite sure what the University is going to do to provide that civil rights law experience, so she's worried about this on a few different crimes now. I spoke with a board of Governors member Marty Cota's after that meeting, and he stated very clearly that there is a civil rights legal clinic at the UNC law school that handles those type of cases, and he also stated that if she's worried about that tarnished reputation of the University, then they should also think about the big lawsuits regarding the NCAA that are also elastic. That's potentially going to happen more interesting, yes. What about the head of the entire system. Margaret spellings I know you've developed a relationship with with her in that you reported on her number of times in his she said anything about all this.

She released a statement following the meeting and was very diplomatic is the best way to sum up her statement. She is taking a stand for civil rights law and the importance of that education, but she did not release much comments as far as her actual position on the closing that the legal aspect of the clinic or the center.

What's so interesting about this. I think in and it was brought out in your reporting carry is that not only is there a legitimate discussion over what should this organization be doing and structurally you know where should existence and all that but it seemed to kind of illustrate that the board of governors has been changing over the last several years and there seem to be people who are not comfortable with some of the members and some of their their perspective on things that is fairly accurate.

We have a predominantly conservative board.

The members of the faculty and students. The UNC schools are predominantly liberal. I think it's a safe summary to say so were seeing again some conflict between those two ideologies as we look at these conversations and long has said repeatedly. This is not an ideological discussion, the left-leaning Center is not being shut down because of its political views. What's a really a fascinating story and we been talking with Carrie Travis.

She is the reporter on this story, associate editor Carolina Journal. You can read headlines UNC board employs to ban some lawsuits.

My center for civil rights very much. That's all the time we have for the show this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay Donna Martines hope you'll join us again next week for another edition. Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John Locke to learn more about the John Locke foundation including donations support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke call 66J 11 info 166-553-4636 Carolina Journal radio nation airline is maintaining all opinions expressed on this program nearly nation about Michelle or other programs foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again

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