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State Board of Ed unlikely to reverse decision to deny Wake County charter school application

BY: - March 2, 2023

Application spurs unusual split between State Board and charter school oversight panel A State Board of Education member is defending her vote to deny Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy (HCLA) of Wake County a charter to open in 2024 despite the Charter School Advisory Board’s (CSAB) glowing recommendation.

‘It has ruined me.’ Listening session offers glimpse into solitary confinement 

BY: - March 1, 2023

People who survived solitary imprisonment talk about its lingering effects on the mind, and call for reform Solitary confinement broke John Howell. Stuck in a prison cell, he lost touch with his family, the outside world and eventually, reality. “You sit there in that box,” he said, “and you slowly lose your mind.”

Howell isn’t locked in a cell anymore, but in a way he's still imprisoned.

Biden student debt relief plan met with skepticism from U.S. Supreme Court conservatives

BY: - March 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — The majority conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical Tuesday that the Biden administration had the authority to implement a federal student debt relief program that was estimated to potentially aid millions of borrowers. The conservative justices, who hold a 6-3 majority on the court, questioned whether the Department of Education could implement a program without explicit congressional approval that would cost more than $400 billion over the course of 30 years. 

States strive to help SNAP recipients cope with lower benefits

BY: - February 28, 2023

North Carolina HHS official: "The need is still there" The white words on a red background are plain. “Important notice: SNAP emergency allotments ending after February.” If there’s any doubt, the Colorado Department of Human Services SNAP webpage adds, “All Coloradans who receive SNAP benefits are going to see a reduction in their monthly benefit amount after February.”

A bad idea that refuses to go away: Legislators try again to revive misnamed “Taxpayer Protection Act”

BY: - February 28, 2023

The idea of slapping inaccurate or deceptive names on controversial legislation in order to drive and manipulate public opinion is nothing particularly new in the frequently cynical world of politics. Authoritarian regimes across the globe have long used this tactic, but it’s an American phenomenon too. Two decades ago, the administration of President George W. Bush...


The 2023 legislative session: Out of the starting gate — sideways

BY: - February 27, 2023

We weren’t expecting it to be pretty – “it” being the launch of the N.C. General Assembly’s new session, with freshly emboldened conservatives eager to flex their muscles. The reality, one month after things got under way, hasn’t failed to disappoint. Two themes stand out:

hands clasped in front of a rainbow flag

Monday numbers: Facing hostile legislation, rising generations are more LGBTQ than ever

BY: - February 27, 2023

Last week Gallup released its latest study of how Americans identify their own sexuality. The result: 7.2% of US adults identified as LGBTQ in 2022, double the percentage who identified that way when Gallup began measuring a decade ago. Younger generations — millennials and adult members of Generation Z — were the most likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual or asexual, according to the study.

Doctors recount ‘heart-wrenching’ stories in new study on medical care post-Roe

BY: - February 24, 2023

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are trying to piece together how the end of Roe v. Wade has so far transformed pregnancy-related medical care in America, and the yet-to-be-released preliminary data are alarming, the lead principal investigator told States Newsroom in an exclusive interview. The team has already received dozens of stories about health care providers directing patients to continue very high risk or doomed pregnancies, which they might not have done before their states criminalized abortion.


America is the world’s most powerful democracy. Why is it impotent to stop mass gun violence?

BY: - February 23, 2023

Whether in a grocery store, a place of worship, a shopping mall, a community celebration, at work or in school, you are at risk for becoming a victim of senseless gun violence. Why is America the only industrialized nation in the world that is plagued by frequent mass shootings? Has our form of democracy allowed the minority to run amuck when it comes to the rights of an individual to own any kind of gun vs. the majority’s right to live without fear of mass murder?

A federal law was meant to free sick or aging inmates. Instead, some are left to die in prison.

BY: - February 23, 2023

COVID deaths at federal facility in Butner, NC highlighted Jimmy Dee Stout was serving time on drug charges when he got grim news early last year. Doctors told Stout, now 62, the sharp pain and congestion in his chest were caused by stage 4 lung cancer, a terminal condition. “I’m holding on, but I would like to die at home,” he told the courts in a request last September for compassionate release after serving about half of his nearly 15-year sentence.

Durham high school students plead with state leaders for action to combat gun violence

BY: - February 22, 2023

“Thoughts and prayers” are no longer enough to protect children from gun violence, says Durham Hillside High School Principal William Logan. Gun violence proliferates, Logan said, because guns are too readily available, and lawmakers are unwilling to pass meaningful gun control laws.

Too many lawyers? Commission on university governance examines board memberships at its first public forum

BY: - February 22, 2023

In their first public listening session Tuesday, members of the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina outlined their mission and heard concerns from parents and faculty members from UNC-Wilmington. The meeting, held in Wilmington and live streamed online, was the first opportunity for the bi-partisan commission to hear from the public on its overall mission - examining the current appointment system for members of the UNC System board of governors and trustees at the 16 constituent campuses. The commission is also examining how that governance can better reflect the state’s ethnic, racial, gender, regional, economic and political diversity and working to craft a set of principles and responsibilities for university governance.