Research and Commentaries

Tapping the Rainy Day Fund & School Fund Balances

March 28, 2011

Balancing the 2010-11 Budget without Raising Taxes

The Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF): Appropriate Uses and Legislative History

TN should say no to ObamaCare

Justin Owen
December 15, 2010

Nine months ago, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ushering in the largest-ever government intrusion into American’s health-care decisions.

Parents should have choice in education

Dr. Matthew Lander
February 19, 2011

A vast majority of Tennesseans believe their public school system needs changing, as found by a recent Vanderbilt University poll. Thankfully, state leaders don’t have to play a guessing game to determine which reforms would best serve Tennessee’s children.

Higher Education in South Carolina: Cut Administrative Costs and Focus on Student Performance

Simon Wong
September 28, 2010

While South Carolinians can take pride in our state’s higher educational system, costs and tuition have skyrocketed in recent years, even as graduation rates remain below 40 percent. At the same time, South Carolina’s leading universities have been drawn away from their core mission and increasingly become conduits for the Legislature’s economic development plans. The solution is to refocus on student performance, cut administrative costs and look to innovative technology that will improve both access and affordability.

How Higher Tuition Translates into More Debt for State Universities

Simon Wong
October 12, 2010

The S.C. Budget and Control Board recently announced a moratorium halting construction at four-year public institutions that raised tuition by 7 percent or more for the 2010-2011 school year.

The moratorium applies only to institutions that raised tuition by 7 percent or more. This means it does not apply to the University of South Carolina, which raised tuition by 6.9 percent. But it does apply to Clemson, which raised tuition by 7.5 percent.

So how is tuition connected to capital building projects?

Opening closed doors: Bringing sunlight and fairness to state-driven economic development

SCPA

For years, the General Assembly has shut the door, cut deals with lobbyists and given away billions of dollars in incentives.

Games Legislators Play: Tricks, gimmicks, and fuzzy accounting in the 2011-2012 budget

SCPC
  • Using money that’s only available for one year to fund ongoing functions of government

    Legislators are taking $150 million from various earmarked/restricted funds to pay for ongoing obligations at the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services (Medicaid).

  • Using millions in “anticipated” revenue to fund pet projects

The Simplicity of Goverment Transparency

Kevin Kane

Governor Bobby Jindal’s short tenure in office has received extensive coverage from local and national media. And while several pieces of new legislation have garnered much attention, two important developments have gone largely unnoticed: Executive Order No. BJ 2008-2 and Senate Bill 37.

These new laws mandate the creation of a website where state spending will be posted and require increased transparency in state finances. Together, they signify that Louisiana is moving towards making all government spending information accessible via the internet.

The Blob That Ate the Schools

Greg Foster
January 3, 2011

Here’s an eye-opening school statistic for you: Only half of Oklahoma’s public education employees are teachers. The bureaucracy is now so big, it takes up half the system. It’s the blob that ate the schools.

Teachers’ unions, and the lousy teachers they protect, have become the central villain in the epic drama of education reform. And well they deserve the role—teachers’ unions exist to fatten themselves by destroying children’s lives.

Are Oklahoma's Noncompliant School Districts Violating Civil Rights Laws?

Stacy martin and Patrick B. McGuigan
January 3, 2011

Oklahoma public schools that violate the civil rights of students risk losing federal education funds, U.S. Department of Education official Jim Bradshaw told CapitolBeatOK recently.

That information may be of particular interest to advocates of, and families with, special-needs schoolchildren—the beneficiaries of a new state law intended to improve their educational options. While state money is involved in the new statute, federal civil rights provisions could still apply.

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