Dave DeWitt

Reporter @DaveDeWitt

Dave DeWitt is currently working on the year-long North Carolina Teacher Project. He came to WUNC in 2003 and spent four years on the staff of The State of Things.

He regularly files for NPR’s news magazines as well as Marketplace and Only A Game. He is a graduate of Denison University and formerly worked in college athletics, college admissions, and with the Tar Heel Sports Network. In 2001, he wrote the non-fiction book "True Blue".

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Politics & Government
4:13 am
Thu July 25, 2013

House To Take Up Voting Changes

The Voter Information Verification Act has already passed the Senate.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The House today is expected to take up a bill that makes major changes to how North Carolina will conduct elections. The Voter Verification Information Act includes shorter early voting periods and the elimination of same-day voter registration.

Other changes include no longer pre-registering young voters and increasing the maximum campaign donation per election. That’s in addition to the original purpose of the bill, to create a voter ID requirement.

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Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Budget Passes, Headed To Governor

The budget vote passed along party lines.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Both houses of the State Legislature have passed a final $20.6 billion dollar budget. Much of today's debate in the House and Senate centered on the cuts to public education. Those cuts include eliminating about 2,000 teacher assistant positions and ending teacher tenure.

"You cut a half a billion dollars out of education in this budget in order to make up for the tax giveaway that you did for the wealthy and the out-of-state corporations," said Democrat Martin Nesbitt,  the Senate Minority Leader.

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Politics & Government
3:51 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

House: Construction Stays With Wake School Board

The Wake School Board will retain the responsibility for school construction.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The North Carolina House has voted down a bill that would have handed over school construction and maintenance responsibilities to the Wake County Commissioners.

The bill would have taken that responsibility away from the Wake County School Board. Supporters argued that the county commissioners have more experience in school construction. Opponents warned that the Legislature should not set a precedent in a local dispute.

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Politics & Government
4:16 am
Wed July 24, 2013

State Senate Moves Toward Sweeping Election Changes

Protestors gathered outside the Legislature to oppose changes to voting laws.
Credit Dave DeWitt

If you plan to vote in a future election in North Carolina, the Voter Information Verification Act – if it passes – affects you. That goes double if you are a younger voter, don’t have a driver’s license, like to vote early, or may ever be subject to a random challenge of your status as a voter.

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Politics & Government
2:20 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

McCrory Signs Tax Reform Bill

Gov. McCrory signs tax reform into law.
Credit Dave DeWitt

It was all smiles inside the Governor’s mansion today. Flanked by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, and his own budget director Art Pope, the Governor praised his fellow Republicans for their leadership in passing wide-ranging tax reform.

He says it will help the state recruit new businesses.

"There are a lot of people unemployed right now," McCrory said. "There are a lot of people looking for work and there are a lot of companies looking at other states to go to create new jobs. And they’re beating out North Carolina."

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Politics & Government
7:54 am
Tue July 23, 2013

73 Arrested In 12th Moral Monday Demonstration

Protesters gather for a Moral Mondays protest at the capitol.
Credit Matthew Lenard

Another demonstration on Halifax Mall led to 73 arrests Monday night. It was the 12th Moral Monday event protesting the Republican-led General Assembly. 

This demonstration centered on what protestors called undue cuts to education and a bill that would change voting requirements.  Protesters said they don't like the provision in the voter ID bill that would cut back on early voting.

"That’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous," said Antoinette Joyner of Winston-Salem.

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Politics & Government
4:52 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Budget Fuels Opposition In Legislature's Last Week

Reverend William Barber led another Moral Mondays protest.
Credit Matthew Lenard

Budget cuts fuel another passionate Moral Monday protest.

For many lawmakers and lobbyists, the culmination of five months of work during this biennial long session came when a final budget was released late Sunday night. More than 500 pages and $20.5 billion, the budget was finalized behind closed doors by two men, both Republicans – Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis.

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Politics & Government
12:21 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Budget Kicks Off Hectic Week In Legislature

Lawmakers hope to wrap up the current legislative session this week.
Credit Dave DeWitt

A busy week at the General Assembly starts today. Republican Leaders in the House and Senate hope to wrap up the session this week. But first they will have to approve a final budget.

That budget was posted online last night (pdf). It contains some provisions that are close to Senate President pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, who have been meeting behind closed doors for several weeks to hammer it out.

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Education
4:06 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Civil Rights Case Begins Today In Greenville

A civil-rights case begins today at the Federal Courthouse in Greenville.
Credit Eastern District of NC, US District Court

A federal judge will hear opening arguments today in a case that pits African-American parents against the Pitt County Schools. 

Pitt County, like many school districts in North Carolina, has a long history of segregation in its schools. About a dozen or so districts in the state are still under an active desegregation court-order, first issued in the 1960's, that requires them to be supervised by the federal courts.

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Education
1:42 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Tedesco Will Not Seek Re-Election To Wake School Board

John Tedesco will not seek re-election to the Wake County School Board.
Credit Wake County Public Schools

Today was the final day to file to run in the election for Wake County School Board, and at least one prominent incumbent will be leaving the Board.

John Tedesco has been the highest-profile board member since he was elected in 2009. He led the Republican effort to end Wake County’s student assignment plan that diversified schools based on family income.

Tedesco, a Republican, announced earlier this week that he will not seek a second term. Democrats re-took the majority on the Board in 2011 and scrapped the choice plan that replaced the diversity plan.

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