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Need to know: COVID-19

Dropping knowledge

As of August 2, 59% of North Carolina households had responded to the Census compared to 62.8% of households nationally. This response rate is below where it was at this point in 2010, and the Census Bureau announced this week it will end all counting efforts at the end of September, a month sooner than previously announced. Carolina Demography highlights key takeaways from the latest North Carolina Census response data, including:

  • Low-responding tracts are now concentrated in rural areas, particularly those with low internet access.
  • Low-responding tracts are more likely to have higher shares of Black, American Indian, or Hispanic/Latinx residents.
  • There’s a widening gap between Census tracts in the bottom 20% of response rates and those in the top 20%.

See county-level response rates as of August 2 here.

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Contextual healing

Brookings Institute’s Metro Recovery Watch recently highlighted Charlotte’s “Open for Business” plan to save small businesses as part of their Spotlight on Local Recovery Efforts series. According to the report, the Open for Business initiative consists of two phases: survive and thrive.

The survive phase focuses on getting support and resources to small businesses immediately and includes:

  • Mentorship series connecting small businesses to industry experts and other owners
  • A digital platform for small business owners to find resources and connect
  • Access to capital program to distribute $30 million to small businesses
  • Job training and capacity building for workforce development to serve displaced workers

The thrive phase will focus on resiliency and includes:

  • A Resilient Restart program that provides coaching and mentoring to help small businesses develop resilient business plans
  • Expanding workforce development initiatives, including Thrive Hiring Grants that incentivize employers to hire displaced workers

What We're Reading

  • More Farmers Declare Bankruptcy Despite Record Levels of Federal Aid

    Wall Street Journal | 08/06/2020

  • Licensure reform will be critical to stimulating future job growth.

    Route Fifty | 08/06/2020

  • To Combat the ‘COVID Slide,’ Tutoring Program Pairs Elementary Schoolers with College Students

    EdSurge | 07/31/2020

  • The co-ops that electrified Depression-era farms are now building rural internet

    Quartz | 08/05/2020

  • Americans Aren’t Making Babies, and That’s Bad for the Economy

    Bloomberg | 07/29/2020

  • For Tenants Facing Eviction, Legal Representation Could Make All the Difference

    New America | 07/22/2020