Opinion Roundup: Aug. 16, 2016 -- Discriminating schools, gerrymandering, and addressing underage drinking

Posted August 16, 2016

School voucher generic, Opportunity Scholarship

Private schools where LGBT students need not apply (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program is funded by all state taxpayers, including LGBT students’ families, but some of the religious private schools getting the vouchers won’t let those students enroll.

Gerrymandering by race fails a court test (Fayetteville Observer) -- The architects of the current maps of General Assembly districts billed them as complying with the law and the Constitution, saying they fully guaranteed that African-American candidates would be able to win seats.

Turn the corner, DHHS (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The new secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services seems to finally have this agency headed toward greater effectiveness and responsibility. It’s about time. The State Auditor’s Office said that the DHHS’ practice of leaning significantly on no-bid contracts for services did not protect state interests in many instances, and in fact did not provide or require proper oversight in many instances.

North Carolina’s new charter school cap (Charlotte Observer column) -- Charter schools should be booming in North Carolina. Here’s why they’re not.

A rigged election? (Greensboro News & Record) -- Bernie Sanders claimed the Democratic nominating system was rigged against him — even though Hillary Clinton won more votes. Donald Trump said the same about the Republican process, even while he was winning. Now he’s preparing to blame fraud for a likely defeat in November. Americans must reject that idea. In this country, elections are free and fair, and the outcome is honored. Trump, and others, should stop their efforts to undermine democracy even before the first vote is cast.

Parents key to preventing underage drinking (Wilmington Star-News) -- When state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Jim Gardner visited with us last week at the StarNews, we were going to ask about the better customer service we've witnessed in ABC stores, and the popularity of small-batch liquors that line the shelves.

Talk it out before tragic teen drinking consequences (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- The public can credit North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission chairman Jim Gardner for some uncomfortable TV viewing these days. It was Gardner and the strategic communication agency, Eckel and Vaughan, who devised the stark “Talk it Out.org” ads.​


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