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Carolina Journal Radio No. 723: Governor, top legislator disagree on State of the State

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
March 27, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 723: Governor, top legislator disagree on State of the State

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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March 27, 2017 12:00 am

Gov. Roy Cooper promoted his first State of the State speech as an effort to find “common ground” with the legislature. Meanwhile, Senate leader Phil Berger’s response to Cooper blamed the governor for sabotaging efforts to reach common ground on the high-profile issue of House Bill 2. Rick Henderson, Carolina journal editor-in-chief, assesses the significance of Cooper’s first primetime address as the state’s top chief executive. Those who want to shift nonviolent 16- and 17-year-old criminal offenders from North Carolina’s adult court system to the juvenile system are making another push toward that goal this year. The “Raise the Age” campaign moves forward as North Carolina has seen notable improvement in its juvenile crime rate in recent years. William Lassiter, the deputy commissioner who oversees juvenile justice in the N.C. Department of Public Safety, offers details about juvenile crime in North Carolina and touts potential benefits of the Raise the Age campaign. North Carolina public schools have seen a decline in their dropout rates over the past year. The N.C. State Board of Education recently reviewed the data. You’ll hear highlights along with the board’s reaction. Thanks in part to a widely lauded Broadway musical, American Founder Alexander Hamilton has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. But many of those singing Hamilton’s praises misread his political philosophy. Richard Salsman, visiting assistant professor of political science at Duke University, explains why Hamilton, a “classical liberal,” set the stage for today’s right-of-center political thinkers rather than the progressives who have championed him in recent years. Gov. Roy Cooper’s State of the State address singled out several public school teachers for special recognition. Among them was a Raleigh high school teacher who spends money from her own paycheck to buy school supplies. Cooper didn’t mention that the teacher earns $65,000 a year, thanks in no small measure to recent pay increases supported by the Republican-led General Assembly. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s director of research and education studies, sheds light on the state of teacher pay in North Carolina. He also highlights the difficulty of compiling accurate data about the amount of money teachers earn for their work across the state.

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From Cherokee to current and 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, luggage, coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state juvenile crime rates have been falling in North Carolina they could fall even more.

If the state moves forward with that idea called raise the age learn the details. The state school board recently reviewed North Carolina's latest school dropout report your highlights, along with the board's reaction American founder Alexander Hamilton's historical reputation has been riding high in recent years, a Duke professor sheds light on the truth of Hamiltons classical liberal political philosophy and you learn some key facts governor Roy Cooper did not mention when his state of the state speech praised school teachers who pay for school supplies out of their own pockets. Speaking of the state of the state. That's our first topic is Donna Martinez joins us. She has the Carolina Journal headline the disagreements between Democratic governor Roy Cooper and the Republican-led Gen. assembly based not only in public policy. But in the world view of the role that government should play in our lives.

Those divergent views were on display for all to see.

When Gov. Cooper gave his recent state of the state address followed by an address from Senate leader Phil Berger Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal. He watched and listened to both men lay out their visions. He's here to talk about that. Welcome back. Thank you.let's talk first about Gov. Cooper and his state of the state address what was the overarching message that you received it. Willie said North Carolina's state of promise and he was talking very much about the fact the state does have a lot to offer to people but his argument was that the state used to be a better place when government was more active, so he made a very strong statement about the role of the public universities about the other tax climate here and the like and that was basically talking about the role of public services and making the state a better place and training the workforce and that type of thing and so it was a fairly the all the speeches of the laundry list of things that the governor wants. And as far as the substance was concerned it was relatively pedestrian within again. You are much better than that Cooper is not know what was. It was so mistaken for a grain order and governors are but it was very much a this is a state of promise.

If we will just simply have the government do more stuff.

In other words, go back to the way things used to be, which ended up being kind of a major theme of the response from Republican Senate leader Phil Berg.

Yes, right of center.

Berger was opened up. I think very forcefully by talking about how that the under the leadership of the Republicans, the general assembly we had made promises.

We kept our promises and as a result of the state turned red in various ways. He mentioned the fact that the tax climate business tax climate, relatively speaking, has improved dramatically that people are keeping more of their money that the states building up savings reserves that our jobs are increasing that pays increasingly becoming a leader in the southeasterly work beforehand and this time now is not to look back to the past of some great your wonderful arrow that existed because it wasn't a wonderful era.

He called it a mirage actually called and that leads me to what I said at the introduction of the segment, which is, it seems like these two men and their respective parties in North Carolina really do have opposite views about the role the government should play in our lives and whether we are going forward or backward right really do and it was it was striking to see that contrast come forward and there was actually one little anomalous part of the governor stated the state address that that was perhaps one of the most touching ones would also one of the strangest ones.

If you look at his overall vision because you brought for the example of you woman who's started a food bank right before the hurricane Matthew hit and how thanks to the donations and contributions of members of the community and businesses alike that this food bank was able to distribute relief supplies to people during hurricane Matthew.

This is not a government program and what he was trying to do was to give this example of North Carolina is a place where people pull together and people your fight through problems and since come up with their solutions. That was not a government program and that way it was the most touching. Perhaps you will been yet he gave during the entire talk but have nothing to do with his other vision was increased spending most of things to increase government programs, and so it was this example of how the hell a lot of us on the center-right think that the world should act as a people should open with their own decisions and should gather the resources together and help each other without bureaucrats intervening, but it was it seems somewhat out of place and governors address.

He also mentioned the middle class and these days it seems like every politician, every elected official wants to say I'm the person I'm the guy I'm the gal who's really looking out for the middle class and then Senate leader Phil Berger.

It seems I part of his argument is yet we agree and we the Republicans we been helping the middle class, write a difference.

Once again of policy structure in that Gov. Cooper is response to the class is to increase a tax credit for child care. For instance, or to make community college free courses not really free, just means the out-of-pocket cost directly from the student will be 0.someone else will pay for it and other sorts of ideas dealing with the increasing pay for certain middle-class operant occupations that we teachers and centered Berger's answer is moreover providing tax relief to everyone which allows you will clash with increase zero tax bracket were going to do other things to keep the state savings accounts and tax that we don't have to raise taxes on the middle class on everybody. If we have a downturn and things like that so it's much more of a with with the governors was more of a targeting certain individuals who do things that he likes and on the side of of Sen. Berger and the Republicans. It's much more of a let's give relief to everybody and let them make their own decisions that you mentioned education just to let our listeners know that little bit later on the program were to be talking with our own Dr. Terry stoops were getting it into the governor's comments in Sen. Berger's comments as well. Specifically about education week, so the after hearing and watching these two men give their visions and how they view North Carolina not only her status today, but what our future could look like what does this say about going forward. The policy decisions that need to be made. We got a budget that's willingly that all sorts of other things that are on the table for discussion.

Is there any possibility of agreement anywhere along the line here there some general areas of agreement. They're both going to be supporting the development projects now there there will be some some differences about this specifically how those will go for what they will respond to measure for economic development. They might actually agree on some sort of deal to attempt to create mega sites to large industrial manufacturers are that's possible. They also this is I think big victory for the Republicans. They also agree that not every tax dollar that is collected should be spent immediately. Gov. Cooper has $300 million going into various savings accounts. I would feel I would have a feeling that that the Senate budget, which will come out after this recording is made before the show was aired the Senate budget would have a larger contribution of that, but this was something that Gov. Cooper is a candidate was criticizing on the campaign trail last week. The publicans were saving too much. Also now he says it's really important to save for a rainy day, so there will agree on that aspect of things and also I will agree to increase competition compensation for teachers. I will just differ on how it should be done whether it should go to high-performing teachers who teach in difficult to staff schools or whether it should be more across-the-board or targeted toward us a long tenured teachers rather than younger teachers. Rick, we can't really ignore the elephant in the room and that is that the court summing their legal battles on a number of them are going on right now between the Republicans and the Democratic governor should we expect more of that I think were going to see right now is probably things carrying forward with what we may see that's new is that the governor and the attorney general Josh Stein, both of whom are Democrats have said or taken action in recent weeks to remove themselves from litigation that the previous administration had gotten involved in this is the discretion of the governor.

Of course, and these were things which basically the federal government will try to do something the state want to roll it back in the states. Now that maybe change and Carolina journal will be reporting updates on on those little legal cases and Rick also folks can follow you on twitter at the regulator and Carolina journal square feet which is journal Anderson thank you thank you Carolina journal radio 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 news stories and important public event set Carolina 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 welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy North Carolina has seen major improvement in its juvenile crime rate and one idea linked to juvenile crime is bound to get quite a bit of attention this year in the halls of the Gen. assembly joining us for a brief overview of juvenile crime issues in North Carolina is William Lassiter, East Deputy Commissioner overseeing juvenile justice in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. So what to talk about this interesting idea: raise the age in a bit.

But first let's talk about juvenile crime in North Carolina. I understand that the numbers have been getting better and it consistently better over the last nine years or so absolutely in fact we seen a nine year decrease in the juvenile crime rate in signal Carolina and this is somewhat tied to the national trend that we seen that you know crime is going down but his rate has decreased far greater than the national average on reducing juvenile crime we done that, while the same time reducing the number of kids that are in confinement in our facilities across the signal.

carolina is really important to folks because it costs a lot of money to combine juvenile in a facility and we know that serving a juvenile in the community with their family is a much better approach.

and so that effective approach of holding those kids in the community providing services around them in the community and working with the whole family has has paid off great dividends for the signal carolina so we seen nine years straight of reduced juvenile crime. we've also seen in 82% reduction in the number kids in confinement in the essay north carolina on their long-term content committed facilities on which we call youth development centers and we've also seen almost a 50% decrease in the number of juveniles held in juvenile detention centers, which are short-term facilities. what a kid is awaiting trial in signal carolina are there particular factors you can identify as to why that improvements take place. what we have done in the state in our state.

in 1999 we passed the juvenile reform act and that really encouraged communities to wrap around the juveniles in their local area to make sure that they were going to be successful and said that juvenile reform act is made a huge difference, but we also put in place in our facilities. a system that we call the model of care. in this model of care really focuses on teaching kids, life skills while there with us instead of just warehousing them and holding them in an in a sale all day. we actually bring them out. teach them they have to be involved in education had to be involved in the life skills groups on throughout the day and that approaches reduce the recidivism rates in this facilities from kids leaving those facilities from when i first started it was 79%. today is down to 41% to almost 1/2 of what the recidivism rate used to be and that's over three years after they leave the facility set is a huge reduction in recidivism that we been able to accomplish by putting in place. this new approach that would we've change what we do in our facilities and we got to change. what were doing in the communities by making sure that we had that wraparound approach in the local communities for juvenile salsa. you mention recidivism and for those who are unfamiliar with the topic.

these are the people who leave the system but then come back at will and within short order that has big long-term positive impacts doesn't have if that recidivism rate goes down absolutely set the cost benefit of that it did to the normal citizen in the signal carolina by not having a job recidivate we save on life turn time earnings for that juvenile they actually are good taxpaying citizens of the signal carolina but also saves you for not having your house broken into or have your stuff stolen and so by reducing victimization by reducing the number of times that that juveniles when i entered the adult system we see reduce call court costs and reduce future imprisonment of that juvenile later in life, so it saves the taxpayer a whole lot of the of money. in fact, one study that we looked at that was done of the cost benefit analysis of race eh which one talk about in the second is st. saving one juvenile from a life of crime saves the taxpayer. the signal carolina almost $1 million. that is the voice of william lassiter. he's a deputy commissioner in the north carolina department of public safety overseeing juvenile justice you reference this just a moment ago. let's turn to the subject out of raise the age before we get into the potential benefits. just tell us what raise the age would be well currently in the signal. carolina, you are seen to be an adult in the adult criminal justice system at the age of 16.

so you end up not being a juvenile anymore. when she turned 16 years old.

we are the only one of two states and left in the country where that's the case in most states are not considered to be an adult until he turned 18 years old, so this proposal is actually looking at how do you treat a juvenile that 16 or 17 years old in the criminal justice system. she treated him as a juvenile or should you treat them as an adult and so that's really what this proposal is looking at and what we wish is physically talking about why this is important is because we know that the brain development of the 16 and 17-year-old is different than in 18, 19 or 20-year-old in the system. we know that the system that we had set up in the juvenile justice system is much more appropriate for those juveniles keeping them in the juvenile justice system for a couple of reasons. number one, we work with the whole family and that's a big difference from the adult system you can be arrested in the signal carolina at the age of 16 in your pants don't even have to be called.

we think that if a juvenile gets arrested at the age of 16 that their parents must be involved and should be involved. that actually helps us make sure that we can we deal with the whole system that calls the juvenile to get in trouble in the first place.

secondly, we know that the approaches that we use in the juvenile justice system are much more appropriate for that population for 16-17 right now if you get convicted of a drug crime.

for example, at 16 years old to be in a group setting with a 50 tip ripe siding that is also had a drug offense.

we know that that's not the most appropriate place for that juvenile is just like you don't take your child to a writer. dr. you take him to a pediatrician. we had to the manpower in the resources and the knowledge to work with this population in the juvenile justice system much more effectively and much more efficiently. a lot of this comes down in some respects to the specifics of the bill because when you're talking about, 16 and 17 were offenders. there are many different types of things that they could be charged with actually the ones who would be treated as juveniles under this proposal. what types of crimes would they have committed. i'm sure you're not talking about murder or the most serious crimes absolutely so a through e felonies would be exempt from this policy. a through e felonies are typically the ones that you think of.

it's the most violent and most serious offenses that someone commit could commit so that includes everything from rape and murder all those with stay in the adult system. if the other offenses known mainly misdemeanors. in fact, of the 16 and 17-year-old population that were looking at 67% of all offenses are misdemeanors that come into the system and then the other ones. only 3% bonds that a free category to begin with the most of what juveniles are committing are actually low in felonies or misdemeanor crimes that occur in schools or in in their households or in their communities across the signal.

carolina's, it is a freeze would be exempt from this policy now in hearing people discuss this. one of the things that i've heard as a potential roadblock or an obstacle is coming from some prosecutors who'd been saying, looking a week. we like this idea of the 16 and 17-year-olds and making sure that they get that the type of help they need. some of these folks. by the time they're 16 or 17 there already hardened criminals members of gangs. you don't want them in with the other juveniles are there ways to address all these concerns and still have a good bill, absolutely. in fact, when the things that we hear is especially to gain influence over juveniles and that sometimes juveniles are used to commit gang crimes by older adult offenders and what we would like to see is that that that the bill actually address that older population. if you're contributing to the delinquency of a minor. that should be a few more serious offense and what it is right now. this is a misdemeanor in the system. i'm so why harm the juvenile that we can save an address in the system.

while it is an adult, causing them to commit those types of crimes. the other things that prosecutors often bring up of the habitual offenders like you're saying actually the juvenile justice system can hold those habitual offenders very much accountable in the juvenile justice system and fact because all have a history in the juvenile justice system with us. we can actually use that history to give them my much more severe consequence and they will probably get as an adult when they're first starting out in the adult system and so that habitual offender. actually, the points add up on their past previous points add up and can actually cause them to have a greater accountability measure that's put in place will raise the age we know it's a topic that is going to be discussed during the session of the gen. assembly. one of the people who will be weighing in on that issue is william lassiter using deputy commissioner in the north carolina department of public safety overseeing juvenile justice. thanks much for joining us techie will have more on carolina journal radio interest among 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.

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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 Michiko guide, North Carolina public schools saw a decline in high school dropouts last year, Ken Gaddis of the state Department of Public instruction recently outlined the details. We have a decrease this year. He went down from 11,190 and 1415 to 10,008 89 301 Fuhrer, a decrease of 2.7% were not quite at our lowest point right now) increase last year but we do have a decrease rule allows schools to avoid Celtic students is dropouts if they're jointly enrolled with the community college. We have 307 students that were received exception this year from 40 earlier is one sure what would've happened if we have had this year like we always did in the past we would we would talk chart shows the head. 11 196. We have six more dropouts than we had last year.

However, we still would've had a decrease in dropout rate. We would call to 2.36 stood up to two point where are North Carolina students dropping out.

We had that high area in the northeastern coastal plains were inland coastal plain on that but that is an order for junk correlations before and dropouts correlate with dropout rate by Ellijay correlates with suspension words year after year's event.

Gaddis noted one more trend in Charlotte. We are having large numbers of dropouts from couple high schools that specialize in at risk students of these search the scooter at risk for dropping out. As a best friend.

We need to seek school board member AL Buddy Collins once of additional information. We have several different programs were reviewed with dropouts, which may reduce the number still be reported. For example, in Davidson County count is in high school. For example, ballpoint school and become a finger good.

I'm interested in honest will correlating the successful alternative programs with the impact on withdrawal. Not only will you go mother-in-law, but it would be would help us to understand what programs you walk in one's need to be replicated is looking at a long 18-year-old bloke you been listening to a recent discussion of North Carolina's latest report on public school dropout will return with more Carolina journal rate. 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 our 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 all meant to create controversy not inform the debate. So the next time you're confronted with fake news one 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 Michiko guide tension.

The name Alexander Hamilton today and you're likely to encounter at least some measure of recognition we see his face on the $10 bill and many people have heard of a Broadway musical devoted to this American founder. What do people know about Hamilton's actual record or his approach to public policy. Our next guest says many people on both the political left and right get Hamilton wrong Richard Salzman is assistant professor of political economy at Duke University. He recently addressed the John Locke foundation's Shaftesbury society on the topic. Hamilton's liberalism facts and myths.

Thanks for joining us. It's good to be your thinking before we get into what Alexander Hamilton really believed Howdy people on both the left and right. Get them wrong on the left which today are called liberals. There are actually advocates of heavy government intervention in the economy and may interpret Hamilton as their supporter on the right. If you want to go far to the rights of libertarians who some of them being more anarchist. Also think he's a statist also think that Hamilton is a status and can tend to endorse Jeffersonian principles. I use liberal in the classical sense of malarkey and Montesquieu incense liberal meeting pro-liberty and classical liberalism.

The term itself was required to distinguish modern liberalism, medical records, I will know there were classical locals actually want to come strictly limited government, that she wanted a free economy that's Hamilton that's my thing is knowing that is Hamilton through and through. He is not statist so you can't be criticized by the rights about your claimed by the left yard advisors position of being a true classical liberal who believed in equal rights for all. It was against racism and slavery, possibly the most important beyond that the constitutional limitations on government antifederalists were largely Jeffersonian opposed initially opposed the forming of the Constitution. I wanted the 13 states to remain separate and will and effectively put you in the USA is a constitutionally used for clusters of limited government as well.

And lastly, I also talk about political economy and foreign policy and political economies procapitalist in the following sentence he believes all sectors of the economy are productive just agriculture but also manufacturing and finance and trade, whereas the Jeffersonians literally adopting what was around for theocracy from France believed only agriculture was productive. I said even that only virtuous which, by implication, meant all the other sectors were in some ways parasitical. So the whole class warfare that we see today between Main Street and Wall Street and no real workers versus these paper shufflers is totally Jeffersonian type distinction unless they know we can talk about it before policies realist's national interest first 2000 think we should make the world safe for democracy because ultimately he doesn't trust democracy doesn't trust unlimited majority rule thinks it can become tyranny as the Jeffersonians are largely for where speaking with Richard Salzman, assistant professor of political economy at Duke University were talking of course about Alexander Hamilton, who many of you have heard of at least is the subject of a Broadway musical and, perhaps, is the person whose face is on the $10 bill. There was some discussion about taking Hamilton plus tool with Ehrenberg's president killed.

There was some discussion about taking Hamilton space off the $10 he was rescued.

I suspect that someone who's talking about him is the consummate classical liberal you're glad he's gonna spell that I am glad and I wrote at the time that he should remain on the bill.

They wanted a more democratic choice.

And so it couldn't of been more curious because heroes Hamilton basically said democracy can be very dangerous. He can actually lead to physical profligacy and bankruptcy of the state severely beaten because of unlimited majority desire for spamming without tax and oversight of built-in bias toward deficit spending is another myth about his he seen sometimes as well since he wanted to pay the national daddy must've been one of these proto-Keynesians who wanted national debtor or thought government that was somehow stimulative that none of that's true. So yes, I wanted him to stay on the 10,000 Messerli new people know more about Hamilton but to get them off the currency to recent just why do people have the wrong idea about Alexander.

I think some of it is Jefferson and the Jeffersonians tend to be more lyrical, poetic and flowery in their writings and speeches. Hamilton is more lawyerly, more dry, more logical or prolix actually worked. And so that's part of it, but I think part of it also is the when people look back to the founders they want to see them as condoning or supporting their current position announcement was like almost like an appeal to authority and since Jefferson and Hamilton disagreed on so much that I'm saying legitimately disagree. There were big differences between their kind of just mentioned. If you're at all Jeffersonian you think Hamilton is the devil, because Jefferson did and Jeffersonian biographers and scholars think so. We have this kind of judge Everson as Dudley do right now you know Hamilton is snidely whiplash don't hold our time and so some of it is just your caricature which is not the same thing as historical actors in the sense also that if you look back at these debates between Jefferson and Hamilton. Jefferson obviously wrote great things had great ideas.

Hamilton sometimes seems to come across as the person who had a better grip on how the world actually works you.

Would you agree with that or would you say actually worksite respect my point about realism.

Yes, his Hamilton basically was. Let's take humanity as it is about people have free will to choose to do good or ill. Let's not become idealistic or idyllic about what's possible. Specifically, he said let's not become that way about the populace in general. The check Jefferson. The Jeffersonians generally thought Russo type way. But the more you capture what was called the general will or majority opinion. They literally thought that was more accurate and so the distrust for elites to distrust for expert opinion. We see this even to the distrust of establishment.

These are reviews or debates.

We have even today the suspicion is elites and the establishment have have have only their own self-aggrandizement. Jeffersonians think that's always checked by the popular will. Hamilton of the Federalist audio. The popular will is easily demagogue easily exploited by those people's prejudices, ignorance, and so he was much more suspicious of politicians like Jefferson, frankly, who would use flowery language and appealed the people as a kind of flattering of the people. So in the remaining time that we have people want to learn more about Hamilton what he actually stood for why he is an important founder why he should stay on the $10 bill. What's the best thing for the whole summer a couple pieces by me if you just google Salzman defense of Hamilton you'll get one or two pieces specifically on him on the bill couple years ago but I would not I would name a couple of books one sure nose biography Ron Journal 2004 is very good and was actually the basis for the musical. So for those of you assuming musical in its origins, it basically comes from journals wonderful biography more philosophically visible by Federici, Michael Federici called a political philosophy about Hamilton that slow more scholarly or more in depth test was actual views.

That's a very good will Alexander Hamilton more than just the face of a $10 bill and more than just the subject of a musical and a person who says that we should recognize him as the consummate classical liberal is Richard Salzman, assistant professor of political economy at Duke University. Thanks much for joining us left on Carolina internal radio just 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

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Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio I'm Donna Martinez earlier in the program. Carolina editor-in-chief Rick Henderson reviewed the themes of Gov. Roy Cooper's recent state of the state address one of those major themes was education now one expert who has been paying special attention to the governors message on that issue is our own Dr. Terry stoops. He is the John Locke foundation's director of research and education studies Terry, welcome back. Thank you Gov. focused in his speech on a number of overarching themes having to do with education, but he also focused in on several individual teachers and the fact that teachers are using some of their own money to buy supplies so the first question I have for you is why should teachers be spending their own money to buy supplies. It just seems crazy. That's a great question considering for the beginning of the school year. There are long lists of items that teachers request parents to buy and bring those in on the first day of school with their children and were not just talking about pencils and paper but were talking about wipes and other tissues and other things that the teachers believe that they will need throughout the school year and parents report paying 50 or hundred dollars per child for these long list of items and so there's a stockpile of things that teachers receive at the beginning of the year items that they believed to be central to their classroom. Not only that but the school district. Of course, provides various items for that teachers of paper and other things so really does beg the question of why a teacher would invest their own money when spent, parents are spending hundreds of dollars to provide supplies and schools are also contributing a significant amount of money and and into what the teacher needs for their classroom but was really curious about this and and I've heard this a number of times will teachers have to supply their own supplies. Number one I think regardless of anyone's politics or ideology. If that were accurate that they were literally running out of supplies at schools and teachers are being forced to go by them.

We should all be concerned about that.

That's kind of the impression that is left by comments like that.

Is that true well you have to look at what some teachers decide to buy some of them are just as just the core for their classroom certainly is not necessary in any way to buy construction paper for a board or some kind of border for their classroom and they do so because they want their classroom to look a certain way and not necessarily do anything to improve their instructional delivery or anything like that. So you know we never get an a list of what teachers by we always just here that teachers are buying stuff.

And while that's true, the question is are they buying things that actually will help them in the classroom or just make their classroom look pretty. So that was one of the curious things that was that the governor was talking about but also of course he was talking about much larger issues of teacher compensation and where we go in terms of education in North Carolina you've been trying to get information on specific information on teacher compensation.

Tell us what you been trying to do and why. Well, I've been trying to see how much teachers make all it's that simple. It's not easy to find individual salary levels are teachers we can know how much the average teacher makes which is close to $50,000 year North Carolina we know what some of the district averages are, but if you were to identify one teacher and's and asked me how much they make it very difficult to figure out what that is. It's because each district maintains those records and sometimes districts make it hard to get those records on individual teacher payroll figures, even though it is public record. You have to go to each of North Carolina's 115 school districts to get that data is not maintained by the state and so I have tried over the years to accumulate that data with the help of some friends here in the John Locke foundation and I found it very difficult but it is it is out there, and it can be obtained and we should say Terry that it's not that you just have some strange interest in finding out what other people are making, but there is public money here and there is a very big debate and ongoing debate among politicians and policymakers. Many arguing that teachers do not make enough money and so that really is at the heart of your investigation. Well, especially since the media is always highlighting individual teachers and seldom do those stories come with salary levels or discussion of what type of situation. Those teachers are in. So when you're talking about individual teachers in your making the claim that they don't make enough I think it's important to know how much they do make and how does that compare to per capita income in the states. How does that compare with other professionals in the county or in the region. Those are important data points that are often left out of new stories because they want to target heartstrings and they know that people automatically believe that teachers as a general category are underpaid. They believe that they've always been told that, but the reality is there are some teachers that make a very good living and they they do so in areas that others do not make such a good living. And it's important to know how much those individual teachers make, especially if the claim is they don't make enough we been hearing from the governor and also some Republicans who say look, we need to raise teacher pay been getting raises that now okay all year without a doubt if you look at the last three races teachers received in North Carolina and this is through Republican leadership in the general assembly three years ago.

It was a 7% increase. Two years ago. It was a 2.1% increase in last year was a 4.7% increase your average increases, so it didn't necessarily hit every teacher in the same way. But those are substantial increases the required hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to be invested in our education system and I think that the recognition of the failure to recognize that the Republicans have done a great deal to raise teacher pay a North Carolina's unfortunate but still it is without a doubt that they have raise teacher pay the average teacher pay has gone up five to $6000. Since Republicans have started raising teacher pay substantially in the last three years and I think this year were to see another substantial pay increase. I think it'll probably be in the 4 1/2 to 5 1/2% range and if we see a raise of that magnitude. Not only will the average teacher pay make teacher make for over $50,000 a year, but they will approach that $55,000 a year mark on average.

Terry is there any efforts underway any appetite in the legislature to try to start distinguishing teachers based on stellar performance or even to somehow tie their salaries or at least a portion of it to their impact on student achievement. There is and I have to hand it to the Republicans in the Gen. assembly have been very deliberate about this because if you look around the nation, attempts of large-scale efforts to try to provide some sort of incentive or performance pay have not always panned out. So they been very deliberate about going about making sure that they look at not only research-based programs but they do so through a pilot program system where they take a couple of school districts and they try it out see what works and what doesn't. And they move on from there. I think this is the kind of deliberate appropriate approach. The Lotta states that haven't taken that we have taken and Republican should be commended for investing funds in those teachers really are making demonstrable difference in student achievement because too often those the teachers that look to other professions or try to find other ways to supplement their income. When in reality we need to make sure that they continue to focus on the classroom and make sure that they continue to raise student achievement North Carolina what we know that we're still pretty early on in the whole budgeting process we been talking with Dr. Terry stoops. He is the John Locke foundation's director of research and education studies.

You can read all of his Carolina Journal.thank you and that's all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch.

Okay I'm Donna Martinez. Hope you come back again next week for more Carolina Journal radio Carolina Journal radio is a program of the John one. To learn more about the job on foundation donations that support programs like Carolina Journal radio send email to development John Locke called 66 GLS 166-553-4636 Journal radio nation airline is present on this program nearly show or other foundation airline sponsored radio again

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