Most school-age children are back in classrooms after summer break. Their families recently encountered the annual trip to the store to buy new school supplies. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and resident scholar, crunches the numbers to determine how much parents, teachers, and state taxpayers spend to equip kids for a new year of school. Advocates of North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship school voucher program recently touted results of a study from N.C. State University. It documented the vouchers’ “positive, large, and statistically significant” benefits for low-income students. Two of the key NCSU researchers, assistant professor Anna Egalite and professor Stephen Porter, discuss their findings. They explain why the Opportunity Scholarship program’s design limits researchers’ ability to perform the highest-quality performance review. North Carolina voters will decide in November whether to lower the state constitution’s existing cap on the state’s income tax rate. The current cap stands at 10 percent. The amendment would reduce that number to 7 percent. You’ll hear highlights from the N.C. House’s recent debate on the issue. Greenville businessman Harry Smith recently took over as chairman of the UNC System’s Board of Governors. During his first meeting as chairman, Smith outlined for colleagues his priorities for the board, which oversees 16 university campuses and the N.C. School of Science and Math. You’ll hear highlights from his remarks. A recent state audit criticized the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission for millions of dollars of waste over more than a decade. Some observers hope the audit will help spark interest in privatizing state alcohol sales. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes reaction to the audit and the likely response from state policymakers.