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Carolina Journal Radio No. 721: Contrasting education plans from Cooper, General Assembly

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 721: Contrasting education plans from Cooper, General Assembly

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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March 13, 2017 12:00 am

Gov. Roy Cooper’s first state budget proposal includes an emphasis on raising public school teacher pay. Cooper’s plan shows little interest, and some outright opposition, to boosting school choice options. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s director of research and education studies, analyzes Cooper’s proposals and compares them to the Republican-led General Assembly’s recent education priorities. Stoops also highlights recent remarks from some African-American Democratic legislators who stand against Cooper in supporting school choice. Most of us have heard about mandates associated with the federal Affordable Care Act. But a group called the N.C. Coalition for Fiscal Health is working to reduce the number of state-level health insurance mandates. Executive Director Matt Bales explains why his group is targeting these state rules. A North Carolinian could have a major impact on the next federal law dealing with higher education funding. U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District, now chairs the U.S. House’s Committee on Education and the Work Force. During a recent public speech, Foxx outlined her priorities as that committee deals with reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act. President Trump has promised to promote school choice, suggesting that he’ll proceed with a choice plan involving as much as $20 billion from the federal government. Michael Petrilli, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute, offers his analysis of how Trump’s plan might work. Petrilli also explains why school choice supporters approach federal involvement in the issue with caution. A Florida beachfront property-rights battle has attracted attention from George Leef, Forbes columnist and Martin Center director of research. Leef explains why one couple’s court battle exposes a larger problem of government trying to threaten property rights by citing the public’s “customary use” of otherwise privately owned land.

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From Cherokee to current tack 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 at Muskoka during the next hour, Donna Martines and I will explore some major issues affecting our state.

Most of us know that the federal affordable care act Obama care includes some controversial mandates will hear from the leader of a group that's challenging state health insurance mandates here in North Carolina.

One member of North Carolina's congressional delegation will play a key role in writing the next federal higher education act to learn about her priorities. Pres. Trump wants to promote school choice across the United States that of an education policy think tank, offers his thoughts about trumps plans and will learn about a beachfront legal dispute that could have a significant impact on protection of property rights. Those topics are just ahead.

First, Donna Martin has joined us with the Carolina Journal headline, Gov. Roy Cooper's proposed operating budget contains a provision to expand a pre-k private school voucher program but to phase out a K-12 voucher program for low income kids. Those are just two of the items that have caught the eye of our next guest John Locke foundation's director of research and education studies. Dr. Terry stoops Terry, welcome back. Thank you. Well it is budget time.

Now the governor, he has put forth his operating proposal gives your overall view of the K-12 education portion of that plan math. I mean it's certainly not as radical as it could have been in considering that the general assembly is probably going to consider very few of the line items in this budget actually shows a bit restraints on the governors parts. On the other hand, you know there is nothing here that shows any sort of innovation and more than more often than not, it shows nods to some of his biggest supporters including the teachers Association and other special interest groups that were supporting him and finding him through his campaign last year were you hoping for something a little bit different than this. Know this is exactly what I expected to be completely honest, a significant increase in teacher pay taking an ax the opportunity scholarship program increasing pre-k funding. These are all things that he made very clear that he was going to include in his budget. There is actually less policy movement in this budget than one would expect.

In other words, everything really stacked up to funding or not funding rather than making policy decisions through his budget. Perhaps moving departments, perhaps doing things with personnel. Instead, he pretty much stuck to the book and that was the book of making sure that his supporters and his funders were happy. Let's talk more about the private school scholarships. The vouchers now on the one hand, he is wanting to expand a version of that for pre-k prekindergarten tell us about that well under this plan. He would double the number of slots more than double the number of slots for prekindergarten children. Basically, this is something that the progressive left is one for very long time to try to get universal prekindergarten programs for children and I believe this is the first step to that effort, increasing the number of slots for students in subsidized prekindergarten programs. You know this is going to be part and parcel of his budgets for the next three years. So this is you know this is one approach that he's taking to try to increase the amount of funding for public education, get more kids in the early grades in those public programs.

Let's tackle a bit more about this pre-k voucher because typically the governor supporters and those on the left side of the ideological spectrum do not like vouchers. Does this mean that the state is giving a voucher that a parent can use at a private or even perhaps a a pre-k school run by a church try these are publicly funded private school vouchers and ace parent may take that voucher to a prekindergarten program in a church in a private school, or any institution that offers their prekindergarten education and services they don't like to call the voucher they don't like to acknowledge that it's a voucher when you call the kindergarten programs vouchers to put their fingers in the ear and yell loudly so that they don't hear you saying the word vouchers but the truth is is that just like some of the higher education programs that we have Weatherby Pell grants or student loans or grants for higher education.

These are voucher programs or taxpayer money goes to pipe public private institutions chosen by the recipient okay so we got it pre-k we got it at higher Ed, let's talk now about the governors proposal in the Kate 12 arena the opportunity scholarship program for low income families is that going to survive if governor Cooper's budget were to be adopted. His budget maintains funding for those currently receiving opportunity scholarships, but provides no funding for additional scholarship. So the 5500 or so children that receive an opportunity scholarship would continue to do so over the next two years that there be no additional scholarships provided should be noted that these are low income kids that receive very small vouchers for private schools there mostly ethnic and racial minorities affect 59% of those who receive an opportunity scholarship along to a racial or ethnic minority group. So these are the ones would be most affected by cutting off the spigot of our opportunity scholarship program.

Interestingly enough and not talked about a whole lot is the fact that the other voucher program for students with disabilities appears to have been left unscathed in his budget. There wasn't anything that I solve. That would cut off funding for special needs children receiving vouchers which is interesting because that voucher amount to significantly more than what the low income students receive for the opportunity scholarship. Terry did Gov. Cooper give any rationale for why he would be so supportive of a voucher for pre-k kids Sam, as you said like going to double the number of seats, but to not want to expand what is essentially the same thing in the K-12 area is the rationale he made a few gestures about wanting to make sure the money goes to public schools, which forced us applied to prekindergarten programs.

You know, there is really no good rationale for doing this, other than the progressive left really dislikes private school voucher programs they're going to do everything in their power, whether it be through budgets of the courts to try to eliminate those programs and so will Gov. Cooper decided to do here was to nod to his supporters and to say to them. I just like private school vouchers to and to show you how much I dislike them.

I'm going to cut off the amount of money we spend on them showing some mercy to those who were fortunate enough to get vouchers in previous years.

Gov. Cooper has been talking a lot about teachers tell us what his budget proposal has in mind for teachers was he outlined before. This includes 5% increase for teachers basically 5% increase in base pay over four plan to increase 5% over two years that 10% increase would supposedly take teachers up to the national average is not clear whether it actually would.

But this is again part of what he promised to do through the campaign through his election is to increase teacher pay aggressively and the 10% increase in teacher pay that's proposed is just part of that effort. Have you seen anything in his budget proposal that would go towards merit pay or rewarding teachers who are having a tangible impact on student achievement. Not really. And I there is really no expectation of seeing that sort of program from the governor.

He is basically committed to trying to make sure that these are across-the-board pay increases and not targeted increases to ensure best teachers stay in the classroom typically carry out weekly here actually purred for a number of years that many teachers say that they are paying for school supplies out of their own pocket. Your former teacher and your wife is a teacher I never won it.

Is that prevalent in number two. What does the governor want to do about that. Will this prevalence we pay plenty out of pockets of by choice, by the way, we are not forced to buy supplies or school instructional materials for my wife's classes. We do so by choice and she does so by choice because it helps become a better teacher. The governor proposed $150 grant for teachers to buy school supplies, it should be noted that there is a federal tax deduction right now for teachers who by school materials on their own. This would be a little bit differently structured, but is sort of the same idea of trying to give teachers relief or buying school instructional supplies it probably be better spent at the school level and allowing them to have some money there, and perhaps distributed to teachers themselves, but otherwise I think it's one of those gestures to teachers to try to gain some supports for the budget that probably isn't going to go anywhere once his generals thinking that you say with this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment when you hear the word crime you probably think about murder, assault or robbery, but what about crimes linked to obscure government rules so obscure. Most people wouldn't even know they're breaking the rule North Carolina has too many crimes like that crimes that can lead to convictions just because a person runs afoul of rules and regulations. Most people don't even know exist. It's a big problem, a problem the John Locke foundation and Texas Public policy foundation are tackling. You can join in. Monday, March 13 at noon at the Campbell Law school in downtown Raleigh and expert panel explores North Carolina laws the turn bureaucratic mistakes into crimes. That's right and honest mistake that leads to criminal conviction that's noon on Monday, March 13 at the Campbell Law school. The $10 price includes lunch. Sign up online click on events that John lock LOC will get back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got if you have health insurance either on your own or through your employer. It's likely that insurance costs more than it needs to. Thanks to state mandates. Our next guest has been taking a close look at how much those mandates are costing us that Bales is Executive Director of the North Carolina coalition for fiscal health. Thanks for joining us. Since revenue much in this context Matt were talking about mandates what we talked about so we all know about the ACA also known as Obama care. That's a federal policy where focus on our state-based mandates state policy coming out of Raleigh out of the Gen. assembly that impact health benefits and what that does is it drives up costs for individuals who either get their insurance on their own or for small groups that have to their employers are paying for their insurance and what these are specific things.

For example, face example of is how we are part example one that was proposed was chiropractors. Chiropractors want to be paid the exact same as a full doctor problem is they think of education. They didn't go to school and so while they is a novel concept, while should we force everyone else in the marketplace to pay for some that only a handful of individuals will use. That's the whole concept of mandates forcing the entire marketplace to pay for something that only a handful of individuals actually benefit from. That's what were trying to stop because is driving up costs and these calls are on top of the ACA is making healthcare insurance premiums unsustainable especially in rural North Carolina and is this a case of various groups will as you say, chiropractors or other groups who go to the Gen. assembly and say hey our services should be part of anyone's insurance plan and lawmakers say that sounds good and then approve this mandate.

That's exactly how it happens a lot of special interest groups and what we've seen lately is a rise of patient advocacy groups, but once you dig into some of their funding mechanism. What you're seeing is actually being propped up by pharmaceutical companies and so that something keep an eye on what a lot on their special interest groups with a narrow subject matter as it goes only to calls for five cents per member per month. But if you look at the total economic impact. The state were talking billions of dollars over Tom, that's a loss of money that could be spent by families on things are more important to build than something they probably or might not ever use.

In fact, at this goes against the idea of giving people as much flexibility as possible in terms of what they are insuring against me.

There may be some services so people would never use that would be mandated on the from the state.

Just as with the four carrots exactly right mean a lot of these mandates are specifically written to a select segment of the population. What happens is in order for that select segment of the population to be covered. Everyone has to pay into the pool of money I might not never taken this particular mandate.

I'm still paying for every single month so argument is let people pick and choose. Perhaps what mandates or what benefit they want. They want they can pay for. Otherwise, why are you forcing the rest of the same North Carolina paper. Some of them never use.

We are chatting with Matt Bales. He is Executive Director of the North Carolina coalition for fiscal health. I understand that it is looking at the cost of this there was an estimation that perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of $218 million per year was the cost in increased premiums in North Carolina because mandate is what we've done is with some actuarial resources what we've done is look at the entire state of North Carolina.

1.5 million people really fall into this mix of being impacted, they're not people on Medicaid are not people on the large group employer plans, but these are people that have small group employment, small group plans in place and individuals not say health plan either. So very, very narrow segment of the populations being targeted with these mandates still largely still large 1.5 million people and so what we did was extrapolate the cost per member per month extrapolate that out and we came up with a number over Tom that equals a lot of money taken of the North Carolina economy is these premiums are being paid by people so when they're having to spend money on health insurance not being able spend money on things that could help their family move forward. They're not spending money on the kitchen table issues that matter to families most right now and if this is a small group plan. I'm guessing your argument would be this. This is also money that a business couldn't be it couldn't be using to hire other workers or provide a different benefit the people want.

That's correct to me. So these mandates are dictated out of Raleigh to a small group plan or small business and so was that businesses than having to deal with, say, what if the mandate was for listless to chiropractors. For example, what if they were all of physical therapy office there all physical therapist, then I can go to a chiropractor which are forcing them to pay into a pool of money for fizz or for chiropractors and socialists just doesn't make sense for everybody to be the have these apply to them specially not the interesting thing is for not including state health plan were not including Medicaid, so the Gen. assembly is essentially saying these mandates only good for a small port of the population are they expanding it to the Russell Carr problem is the cost. If you have this, the state health plan numeracy cost really sore must be a sore subject given the control of the general simply right now. Now you are raising attention about this issue what you hope actually happens is it stop new mandates rollback existing mandates a little bit of both. Both, I think we need to raise awareness healthcare in the past. Since no 2011 when the ACA went on the books has been a constant system of flux. What was happening is what we're hearing is a travel cross estate is its unsustainable people was done nothing to help the average person afford their premiums and they feel like they're in a very precarious situation. They need help and so were saying is, while the federal and the newly elected president Trump deal with the ACA on a national level, North Carolina let's stop new mandate would stop you know we are competitive and tax climate and business regulations. So let's be competitive in healthcare costs. That's a good way to attract new companies than with utilizing our healthcare costs is a little bit more reasonable than when you're coming from.

Let's do that as an economic development tool as well. This sounds as if it's also way that it did to have the Gen. assembly follow down the path.

It's been working on in recent years, a regulatory this could fit right in with me. I would love nothing more than an honorable on Jones Street to follow piece of legislation to take a comprehensive look at the current mandates on the book by go above and beyond essential health benefits required under the ACA to say the still applicable to North Carolinians. We still need these on the books, how much are they costing is it worth the cost. So maybe that's something that will come up in the next long session.

We can only hope. Do you have a prevention hope. Do you have any thought that there are some people within the general assembly who really do want to look at this representative, Jeff Collins is the constant leader on fighting mandates is leadership's been very well appreciated. Current Majority Leader John Bell is someone who has been true to fighter for small business and fighting mandates.

Chris Millis said more conservative side of the house, but the entire Senate. They have been great stopping mandates.

Both parties. This isn't necessarily a partisan issue, but the Senate hasn't bathed me. The house is been the one who passed more mandates in recent years the Senate has put a stop to most of them. So were appreciative of their hard work and I think the taxpayers North Carolinians, especially those paying for health insurance to be very appreciative as well will certainly an interesting and costly topic and we know one person is going to be watching this closely as the general assembly comes back to town to see if they do anything about these mandates is Matt Bales.

He is Executive Director of the North Carolina coalition for fiscal health. Thanks much for joining us for having me a lot more on Carolina journal radio in just a moment at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying.

In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interests.

The special interests. We would be honored to have your help in this fight. John and make a tax-deductible donation right now the John Locke foundation where fighting for you where fighting for freedom North Carolina lawmakers head back to Raleigh. There's a new governor in town working together or working against each other will make big decisions decisions that affect you, your wallet, your home, your business, your kids education to keep up with those big decisions day by day. Even minute by minute look to Carolina journal, a full team of reporters and analysts there watching the action in the state capital. The reporting minute by minute developments for you Carolina journal. It's available each month as a free newspaper and every day with updated find us on Facebook to share items from Carolina journal share items from the John Locke foundation. Follow us on Twitter at Carolina journal at John lock in C and at Becky Gray Carolina journal it your go to source for news about state government and how government affects your life. Visit Carolina today. 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 Locke foundation just shot using the Amazon smile program and designate past the work foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop and Amazon donates money to last the John Locke foundation. So here's how it works Lott on to Amazon smile.

It's the same Amazon you know same products same prices is much better. Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to pass the John Locke foundation to try it. 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 today by something nice and help defend freedom.

Support the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio language coca one member of North Carolina's congressional delegation stands to have a major impact on federal policies dealing with colleges and universities Republican representative Virginia Foxx chairs the committee on education and the workforce.

There's a lot of work to be done, but we have a lot of opportunity to advance reforms that are bold responsible and meaningful. That's a comment from one of Fox's recent public speeches. She also referenced the federal higher education act like EA reauthorization is long overdue but I can assure you it's one of our top priorities box mentioned a series of principles linked to the higher education act.

The first principle is empowering students and families to make informed decisions, choosing the college or university is an important decision that will have a lasting impact on the students life. That's why it's so important that individuals have the information they need to choose the right school. Unfortunately, that information is all but impossible to come by and the information that is available is often misleading or simply inaccurate.

The second principle is simplifying and improving student aid today due to federal student aid has become too complex.

There currently six different types of federal student loans. Nine. Repayment plans, five of which are income driven forgiveness programs and 32 deferment and forbearance options, each with its own rules and requirements is no wonder students are often left confused about their options and struggle to understand their responsibilities when it comes to paying for their education. We must work to promote innovation access and completion. The cost of college in our country was a significant part of the debate during the election last year.

It remains an important part of the public conversation today and it's no wonder college costs have risen significantly in the last decade since 2005 average tuition and fees have increased by 40% have four year public institutions by more than 25% at four-year private nonprofit institution Foxx wrapped up her list.

The final principle is providing strong accountability and a limited federal role in higher education. As you know, institutions are subject to a great deal of federal reporting requirements and regulations, all of which impose reporting and compliance burdens on institutions. Let me be very clear protecting hard-working taxpayers is always been one of my top concerns and it remains one today. However, we should also be mindful that federal rules and requirements create administrative costs. That's North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

She setting up principles that will guide the latest version of the federal higher education act overture with more Carolina journal radio when you hear the word crime you probably think about murder, assault or robbery, but what about crimes linked to obscure government rules so obscure. Most people wouldn't even know they're breaking the rule North Carolina has too many crimes like that crimes that can lead to convictions just because a person runs afoul of rules and regulations. Most people don't even know exist.

It's a big problem, a problem the John Locke foundation and Texas Public policy foundation are tackling.

You can join in. Monday, March 13 at noon at the Campbell Law school in downtown Raleigh and expert panel explores North Carolina laws the turn bureaucratic mistakes into crimes. That's right and honest mistake that leads to criminal conviction that's noon on Monday, March 13 at the Campbell Law school. The $10 price includes lunch.

Sign up online click on events that John lock LOC Qubec Carolina journal radio I'm coca president Donald Trump is been talking about $20 billion school choice plan that mean for North Carolina here to help answer that question is Michael Petrilli, president of Washington DC-based education think tank the Thomas B Fortin Institute.

Thanks for joining semester have an image so that sounds like a pretty big deal for school choice of president Trump is on board. In his talk about the federal government having something in the neighborhood of a $20 billion plan. Yeah it could be a big deal will first let me be honest Mitch that I have mixed feelings about nothing.

Many of us that are in the parental choice movement have mixed feelings we have seen what has happened to other reforms that perhaps there were good ideas and somewhat popular, but then got caught up in federal policy and politics. You know many of us conservatives we we like parental choice, but we also believe in a limited federal role in education. So is it really a good idea to do this from Washington and that's an open question.

Likewise, do we want to have parental choice so closely associated with such a polarizing figure as Donald Trump. You know how much, how long will it be until something like this gets labeled Trump choice. I doubt that they get that there's some there's some real misgivings at the same time $20 billion is a big number in this could help lots and lots of kids around the country, including in North Carolina course of this point it's just an idea. We've yet to see an actual proposal, but when we do see a proposal will have to decide if this is something worth supporting, so obviously there are some potential pros of financial cons. If this is done well yeah what kinds of things might it have so what most of us expect is that this might be something that's included as part of the tax reform bill that we expect to see from Republicans this year.

That's for a couple of reasons. One is because that tax reform bill is going to be is to use this procedure called reconciliation so that it can pass on a majority vote which would likely be a partyline vote. The second is because a standalone voucher program or private school choice program at the federal level probably would not pass Congress would pass the House of Representatives, maybe, but it would not pass the Senate because there are some Republican senators who probably wouldn't vote for in their almost surely would be no Democratic Senators that would vote for it. So in and that's because a lot of these folks represent rural districts. Rural states that don't have any private schools don't have that many private schools and don't see this is something that's going to benefit them and even some some moderates used to say, I'm a little squish. I'm not sure I'm totally and on on board with private school choice. If they do it as part of the tax reform bill then you avoid a lot of the problems I it can be done on a partyline vote, and Republicans if they want to get the tax reform parts of that build and they might have to just hold her noses and vote for this court to all that said, what we expect. If that's the case, is some kind of tax credit for folks who donate to scholarship programs for K-12 kids in North Carolina you've Artie got one of those tax credit programs and opportunity scholarship program where people can write off part of their state taxes if they donate to the scholarship programs and then the scholarship programs turn around and make scholarships or vouchers to low income kids North Carolina is something like this past $20 billion. What could happen is that North Carolina's programs could have a lot more money to either serve lots more kids were to make the scholarships more generous right now. I think they're in the neighborhood of 4000 $5000. That's is not enough money to pay actual tuition at met many private schools North Carolina so maybe you could get the amount up much more. You don't much closer to what tuition actually is. That is the voice of Michael Petrilli. He is president of the Thomas before the Institute in education think tank based in Washington DC so far.

We talked about the politics of it. How this might play out if a plan went forward from DC and if it were done well right with those that you big gifts yes AF That really mean for for families in North Carolina with you that be good news and I think it would be good news. I mean I look. I think that in North Carolina it would mean that there would be more student served under your own opportunity scholarship program and potentially the scholarships to be more generous meaning that you could have more choices of the private schools to go to now we don't distill big questions is this can be something that all families have access to her as a something this can be limited to low income. Many working-class families. Where's the cut off. What's the you know how how poor you have to be to qualify.

I think that's still up in the air.

What are the other requirements for schools that participate you know do they have to have kids take the state tested are they part of the state accountability system, you know, do they can they use their admissions processes so that kids have to take a test or no show that they don't have discipline issues in order to get in tons of questions to be decided below for first night I think. Certainly for low income and working class families in North Carolina who were not happy with their local public school, who maybe don't have a good public charter school nearby, but would like to go to a private school or religious school Catholic school. This could be a real-life change as you're watching this move forward. What are the potential pieces of a federal school choice now that you absolutely do not want this yeah no good question.

II think that most of us would be very nervous about the federal government did siding. Many of the issues I just mentioned at the federal level, so you know exactly how the accountability had to work who would be eligible, you know whether the schools could use their admissions processes are not known what they have to admit you know all students. Let's say, could they be single gender schools are not me.

The these are all tough issues. I hope that they choose to let states answer especially states like North Carolina who already have their own programs and have made these decisions themselves with Betsy divorce as the US education Sec. does that to lead you to believe that many of the decisions would be left to the state.

I think so since she made it clear of when she about both in her hearing, and also in response to questions from Senators that she was not going to mandate anything on the states in terms of a school choice program will see exactly what that means. I think I yelled look, there's going to be pressure for people will say hey if you get to spend $20 billion from the funeral at the federal level. Then there's got to be some accountability. There's got to be civil rights protections rest so I a look. I I think that there's gonna be pressure for there to be some micromanagement from Washington. I hope though that in the end they keep it, you know I said something that the states really continue to have control over outside of the money there other things, the federal government can do that would be helpful for the school choice movement.

That's a good question. You mostly wheat right now we been talking a private school choice. Of course Betsy divorce and Donald Trump also support public charter schools and you've got those in North Carolina. They are growing now know that there's no longer a cap on the number charter schools, and there's a lot the feds can do to make sure for example that those charter schools remain free from regulation that was always a big idea of the charter movement was at these schools are meant to be have a lot of autonomy and a lot of freedom and yet I know over time that some federal and state regulators have tried to add more and more rules on to those schools are cutting back that's important. And again, money does matter, trying to boost the amount of money at the federal level for charter schools especially for new charter schools that need some support while they are in the planning phases could go a long way.

At this point. Are you cautiously optimistic about where things stand with the Trump administration, school choice well yet yet look.

I think that there's no doubt that that on education, school choice is going to be the primary focus of this administration and I am hopeful that they will do it thoughtfully and carefully so that in the end we end up helping lots more kids but we know that as this issue moves forward one person who's going to be watching very closely is Michael Petrilli is president of the Thomas before the Institute that's in education think tank based in Washington DC. Thanks much for joining Acer have one airline at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades.

The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying. In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you.

That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interest.

The special interests. We would be honored to have your help in this fight.

John and make a tax-deductible donation right now the John Locke foundation were fighting for you were fighting for freedom, welcome back to Carolina Journal radio I'm Donna Martinez. Imagine that you achieve your dream of owning beachfront property and then living in the house of your dreams as well. But then imagine that your dream turned into a nightmare when local government tries to take control of what is yours. That is what is happening to a Florida couple our next guest profile despite over property rights and over free speech as well.

In a recent column that he George Leif is director of research for the Martin Center for academic renewal. George welcome back to the program. It's been a while since we chatted. I got Northwest Florida. If folks have ever been there along the Gulf of Mexico. They know that it's beautiful beaches and who wouldn't want to live there, but now we got a couple that they have beachfront property they got home that they lived in for a long time but now they're in trouble what's happening. Well, what happening is that their local visual want to take up what is it always been there.

Property according to the poor public you and the detail go like the Goodwin family often property out near the coal Walton County, Florida way back in 1971 and they built a nice little house on 1978 and the deed to their property indicate that their property expand up to the mean high water line on the cult and beyond back toward your course is beach which is open to the public. But beyond that is their property, which gives them some dry sand beach area before they get into the band do walkway up to their help and disgrace for the Goodwin now retired until lately when they been finding more and more intrusion onto their property by the public, wild spring break type party. You leave later on their property.

People sometimes before picking him on their property in the education people even wander into their word to me I would want to do something. I mean how to how to do didn't respond well baby I by putting up fine and linking them with the plastic of the time indicated where their property begin where the public no longer have access and they they thought to what could possibly wrong in America indicating where your property line problem solved.

But I guess not. Well, no Epley not local officials have been putting it increase in the local public access beach area for a long time, apparently. And back in 2014 County official contracted with a law firm private law firm asking, what would it take for us to be able to clean these dry sand beach area that Goodwin that other people living along there have always treated as legally are there property and the answer came back well, you might feel the claimant is a public easement under the law.

If public access to the part of the beach were quote to Mary unquote so in 2016 Walton County passed an ordinance that people are not allowed to put up any up on the beach area and they included high and so would no longer be illegal for people to post where there property. Quite amazing in an America that you can't even pay where your property and the penalty for violation of this was a $500 fine price to pay for simply market demarcating your property boundary.

George P was doing this I mean it's crazy not only do they have their own property that's being overrun at different times by people who may or may not realize that there's a private property there. But now I can't even tell people.

Hey, this is private property, well, what they was a list of the pro bono. One of America's great role liberty and pro-property right legal organization called legal foundation and even though it may legally have a Atlantic branch of the handle. All country and they filed suit in the local courts for court against the ordinance of the ground that it was unconstitutional that it violated their right. But the First Amendment go after the county was hit with a lawsuit. They mold their option and in the fight it to the backboard. Now that doesn't mean that they repealed the but they did something else that has to new or and with bad ordinance that was back. It was customary to find it very for the public to you.

This part of the beach. In other words, they were trying to justify putting words on paper to create the illegal requirement that they would be necessary for them to say all well this is always been this way of customary and therefore your part of your property's George County really is trying to push these folks out of their property to my overstating what they want to push them out of their property. They just want to annex part of their property.

Now it might well be that if people were upset enough they might sell out cheaply, but I think there are good and bad, mostly a possibility but there there and immediately increase the amount of acreage available to the public along beaches. I could get the true one of the signs that the Goodwin put up bad Walton County wants my property, it must pay me for U.S. Constitution so here we have a sign informing people about the Constitution and the county. You think, well, you can have that time Wilson First Amendment for anything you can tell people when the Constitution being violated. George, we are very very short on time, but if you just let me know. Do you think about which you think is the most compelling argument and free speech of property rights. Well first of all being litigated on the First Amendment and I think slamdunk on the First Amendment and because slamdunk under the federal they're suing under the county is going to be liable for their attorney fees and court costs. All the other people in the county paying for the arrogance of their official George to have you back. Once there is a determination a legal determination of what's going on here.

It's a fascinating case he could read The author is our guest George Lethe is also the director of research for the Martin Center for academic George, thanks so much for sharing the story of my pleasure and that's all the time we have for Carolina journal radio this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch come back. I'm Donna Martinez. Hope you join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John learn more about the John Locke foundation donations support programs like Carolina journal radio sending email to development 66 GLS 16655466 journal radio airline is nearly done.

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