Gene Nichol & Co. continue to plea their case to save the UNC Poverty Center from possible cuts of research centers being considered by the Board of Governors. A key component to the Poverty Center’s mission is to “advocate for proposals, policies and services to mitigate poverty in North Carolina,” with one of their top goals being to “examine innovative and practical ideas to move more men, women and children out of poverty.”
But according to data from the Poverty Center’s own website, under Nichol’s watch poverty in North Carolina has not only gotten worse in absolute terms, but relative to the national average as well.
NC’s poverty rate in 2008, the year Nichol took over the Poverty Center, was 14.6%. Compared to the national poverty rate that year of 13.2%, North Carolina’s poverty rate was 10.6 percent higher than the national average.
The most recent poverty figures available at the Poverty Center’s website are from a spring 2013 report, which shows North Carolina’s poverty rate has climbed to 17.2%, which is 13 percent higher than the national average.
If North Carolina continues to fall further behind the national average in poverty, what good, exactly is Nichol’s Poverty Center doing?