Phil Berger

North Carolina Teacher Project
4:36 am
Wed November 20, 2013

How We Got Here: Teaching In North Carolina

William Campbell on his first day integrating Raleigh City Schools.
Credit NC Museum of History

Alice Battle was already a veteran teacher when integration finally came to North Carolina.

Thirteen years after Brown v. Board of Education, she was peering out the window of her second-floor classroom, watching as white and black students streamed into Chapel Hill High School – together, for the first time. Battle had previously attended and taught in segregated Black schools and was more than a little nervous.

A riot had occurred a few days earlier, and tensions were high.

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Education
1:37 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Goodnight Decries Lack Of Support For Education

Ann Goodnight
Credit NC State University

Ann Goodnight is not happy. In a letter-to-the-editor in the News and Observer, she goes after the state budget and the leaders who wrote and passed it:

We are knowingly under-investing in our pre-K-12, community college and university students; in our teachers; and in innovative new approaches to learning. This budget is an embarrassment in its lack of investment in the skills and competitiveness of its people. This is a grievous mistake.

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Politics & Government
4:39 am
Fri July 26, 2013

General Assembly Casts Historic Votes

Many will remember this Legislative session for the Moral Monday protests it inspired.
Credit Matthew Lenard

The General Assembly's last days were punctuated by passionate debate.

It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really been just seven months since newly-inaugurated Governor Pat McCrory sounded this hopeful tone:

“North Carolina’s greatest strength and asset remains its people,” he said during his inauguration speech.

“On those main streets across this state, it’s the people that count and that make a difference. People will come from different backgrounds but share a common set of principles. Self-starters and hard workers.”

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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
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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Politics & Government
7:18 am
Tue July 16, 2013

House Leaders Agree On Tax Plan

Governor McCrory, Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, and Senate President Phil Berger unveil their tax proposal.
Credit Jessica Jones

Governor Pat McCrory and leaders of the state House and Senate have come to a long-awaited agreement on what they say is fiscally responsible tax reform.

The plan would replace the state’s tiered personal income tax rate with a flat 5.8 percent in 2014, and the corporate tax rate would fall as well. The sales tax would be broadened only slightly.

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Education
4:57 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Two Teacher Training Programs, One Spot In The Budget

Teaching Fellows from Henderson County, NC.
Credit Henderson County Schools

Back in the 1980s, North Carolina had a serious teacher problem. There were shortages in much of the state, but the bigger problem wasn’t how many teachers, but who they were.

“We had a real need to raise the scholastic profile of candidates for teaching and also to increase the numbers of males and minorities in teaching,” remembers Jo Ann Norris, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

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Politics & Government
5:36 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Lawmakers Outline Details Of Tax Reform Plan

Credit NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state Senate have unveiled more details of their proposal to overhaul the state's tax code, though they haven't filed a bill yet. They propose lowering income tax rates significantly over the next three years. They also seek to lower the combined local and state sales tax to 6.5 percent.

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