Eddie Goodall, a former state senator, is forming a new charter school organization after a split a few weeks ago with the charter alliance he ran as president.
Goodall, who was president of the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said he is starting the N.C. Public Charter Schools Association. He will be the new group's executive director.
This was a big year for charters. Legislators voted to erase the 100-charter cap and form a new charter advisory council that reports to the State Board of Education.
Goodall was a constant presence at the legislature during debates on the charter law. He asked the state school board to start the "fast-track" charter approval process that would have new charters open in 2012.
"Despite the overall early successes of the Alliance, in recent months much of the direction of the board leadership was at odds with the fundamental principles behind charter school education success in North Carolina. This post-cap era is a time of much needed broad, transparent, and especially principled leadership," Goodall said in a statement.
In a posting to its website, the alliance said it is moving to a de-centralized approach, opening regional offices instead of having a "Raleigh-centered operational structure" and maintaining a full-time staff.
Hagan pushes N.C. turkeys
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is pressuring India to allow the sale of more North Carolina chickens and turkeys.
Hagan joined with 19 other senators in writing to U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk to get India to change its policies, which deny American poultry producers access to India's market. Kirk will visit India in mid-January.
Poultry is North Carolina's top agriculture commodity. North Carolina ranks second in total turkey production and is third in total poultry production.
Over the last five years, Indian trade policies on avian influenza have prevented the import of poultry from a number of countries, including the United States.
Coble to leave hospital
Two weeks after he entered a Washington hospital, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, a Greensboro Republican, is expected to go home today.
The 80-year-old lawmaker suffered an upper respiratory illness that sidelined him Dec. 13 with depleted sodium levels. He remained at George Washington University Hospital until Dec. 21 when he transferred to in-patient physical therapy at Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.
Doctors expect him to stay one more night at Cone Memorial before being discharged. Coble has planned a news conference Wednesday.
Incidentally, the day Coble is released his chief of staff, Ed McDonald, who has been sending consistent condition updates about his boss, will undergo abdominal surgery in Washington.
Hackney's district crowded
The race for N.C. House District 54 is getting crowded.
Democrats Jeffrey Starkweather, a retired attorney and newsman, and Deb McManus, a current Chatham County school board member, are launching bids for the state legislature. And Republican Cathy Wright recently announced plans to run.
But one name is missing: Rep. Joe Hackney. The former House speaker was double-bunked with fellow Democratic Rep. Verla Insko in District 56, and his district lines shifted south to encompass Chatham County and portions of Lee County when Republicans redrew the lines this year.
Hackney is a part owner of a family farm in Chatham County and is telling supporters he will seek re-election. But Republicans are skeptical because he has made no formal announcement to run in his newly configured district.
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