The Perdue scorecard

December 28, 2012 

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Governor Bev Perdue reflects on her term in office and her life in politics during a interview on Friday December 21, 2012 at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com

Accomplishments

• Despite the deep recession, North Carolina emerged as one of eight states with an AAA credit rating from all three major rating agencies.

• Her Career & College Promise program has won national recognition for allowing high school students to begin two- or four-year college work while still in high school.

• For the first time, North Carolina’s four-year high school graduation rate exceeds 80 percent.

• More than 100,000 new jobs were announced and $23 billion in new investments while she was governor.

• North Carolina was ranked the third-best state in which to do business by Forbes Magazine, Site Selection magazine and Chief Executive magazine, and was rated 4th by CNBC.

• Perdue oversaw the largest restructuring of state government in decades, collapsing 14 high-level state functions into eight, including merging three Cabinet agencies into a new Department of Public Safety.

• Perdue pushed a series of reform efforts, including taking road decisions away from the state Board of Transportation, requiring a cooling off period before state workers could work for private industries they previously regulated, increased ethics requirements for her appointees to boards and commissions, and banned state employees from taking gifts.

• North Carolina’s health ranking improved from 37th in the country to 32nd, as monitored by the United Health Foundation.

• An additional 120,000 children received health insurance, giving the state the sixth-largest drop in uninsured children in the country.

• The state created Grandfather Mountain State Park, buying the park from its private owner.

• She was a leading force for compensating the victims of the state’s eugenics program.

Setbacks

• North Carolina has the nation’s fifth-highest unemployment rate. Unemployment was 9 percent when Perdue took office, rose as high as 11.4 percent in January 2010 and was 9.1 percent as of November.

• The budget crisis forced major cuts in education, although that was true for most states. North Carolina was 42nd in per-capita spending in K-12 education in 2011-2012, far below surrounding states, except for Tennessee, according to the National Education Association.

• North Carolina ranked 41st in teacher pay in 2010-2011, according to the State Board of Education.

• Three campaign aides from Perdue’s 2008 campaign were indicted for campaign irregularities, and her campaign was fined $30,000.

• Vetoed a record 19 bills passed by the Republican legislature, but was unable to sustain the veto in 11 of the bills.

• Picked a fight with June Atkinson, the Democratic superintendent of public instruction, over who would be in charge of the public schools. When Perdue tried to take away her powers, Atkinson successfully sued, arguing that the move was unconstitutional.

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