Education

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Johnson Akinleye has been named the new chancellor of NCCU.
Courtesy of NCCU

North Carolina Central University has a new chancellor. The UNC Board of Governors today introduced Johnson Akinleye as the the school's twelfth chancellor. 

The Department of Homeland Security will proceed with an Obama Administration grant program to counter violent extremism, but UNC-Chapel Hill  is among a handful of recipients that will be left out.

The budget deal would raise principal pay, which is the lowest in the nation.
Jess Clark / WUNC

North Carolina's school prinicpals have the nation's lowest average salary. The pending state budget would raise salaries and base them partially on student performance.

Several hands of different colors raised.
John LeMasney / Creative commons

Education spending is far and away the lion's share of the state budget. This budget also includes some important changes to policy that will impact the state's teachers, students and schools. 

EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The Durham Board of Education has changed district policy to buffer schools from immigration and law enforcement.

Wake County School Bus
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A number of racially charged incidents in Wake County Schools has prompted the district to bring together principals to talk about race.

Image of teacher Angie Scioli
At Large Productions

Teachers are a common subject in Hollywood films. Portrayals of teaching range from the unorthodox style of Robin Williams’ character in “Dead Poets Society” to the dull and droning econ teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” A new documentary film about a veteran North Carolina teacher explores how popular culture’s portrayals of the teaching profession are a far-cry from what happens in most classrooms around the country day-in and day-out.

Wake County bus driver Auh Murel Wright greets a student before the afternoon trip home. Wright is among many school-based employees who struggle to make ends meet on their current salaries.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Now that the state House has released its plan for teacher pay, there are three plans before lawmakers as they continue budget negotiations. Here are the basic differences:

Eastway third grade student Kayden works with her classmates to disassemble a computer.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Third-graders usually can’t be counted on to remember important dates, other than their birthday. But  third-grader Antonio knows the exact dates of his end-of-grade tests, or EOGs.

Senate lawmakers have passed a budget calling for total defunding of the Governor's School. It's a summer program offering students from across the state the chance to dive into a variety of subjects -- from natural science to history to drama.

classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

 

Every year thousands of low-income students in North Carolina who achieve “superior” scores on end-of-grade tests are excluded from advanced programs, according to a recent report. The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer reported that high-achieving, low-income students are left out of advanced classes at a higher rate than their wealthier classmates with the same test scores.

the bell tower at UNC-Greensboro
eIntern / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/rUMV5R

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro will soon have a "millennial campus" as part of its expansion. The project was approved earlier this month by the Board of Governors.

Dorise Adams and Mary Anne Carr look over their reading materials during class on Monday. The two are improving their literacy skills at Reading Connections, a non profit that helps adults enhance their reading, writing and math skills.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Every Monday and Wednesday for the past year, Dorise Adams and Mary Anne Carr have met in a classroom at United Methodist Church to achieve their singular goal: to receive their high school diplomas.

Wright School
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Senators have again threatened to close North Carolina’s only state-run residential school for kids with severe mental illness. The Senate’s latest budget is the sixth to propose defunding the facility.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

North Carolina public school students missed more than one million days of classroom instruction while suspended during the last school year. That's according to a new brief on school discipline released Wednesday by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

Terry McCombs / Flickr Creative Commons

A new report from the Youth Justice Project shows that public school students in North Carolina lost 1 million days to school suspensions in the 2015-2016 school year. According to the report, the rate of short-term school suspensions is increasing, and disproportionately affects African-American students, boys, and students with disabilities.

Fifth-graders at Mariam Boyd Elementary in Warrenton, North Carolina, use Chromebooks to answer questions about a story they’re reading. Their teacher, Charis Shattuck, says the technology allows her to review her students’ work in real-time and give them
Lisa Philip / WUNC

North Carolina lawmakers are banking on the benefits of digital learning. Four years ago they passed legislation requiring that state funding for textbooks be replaced by funds for digital materials.

The deadline is this summer. But educators and student advocates say the transition threatens to leave behind the many kids who can’t access high-speed internet at home.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

For the first time in three years, researchers will be able to compare how students in North Carolina's voucher program compare to their peers in public school.

Justin Ashley

Justin Ashley was a star teacher at McAlpine Elementary School in Charlotte. In 2013 he won state awards naming him “Teacher of the Year” in history and social studies. But his personal life was falling apart. Ashley says he had $100 in his bank account and a worsening prescription drug addiction.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

In June, a panel of North Carolina judges will hear a case that pits Republican against Republican in a power struggle over who should steer the Department of Public Instruction.

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

Graduates. Cheer up!

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute paints a more hopeful picture for those wearing caps and gowns than in several years.

State Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson
NC Public Schools

State Superintendent Mark Johnson's first months leading North Carolina Public Schools has been marked by a legal battle over just how much power his office should have.

It's a lawsuit that pits Republican against Republican.

Teachers in North Carolina have seen pay raises
www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr

North Carolina has leapfrogged some states in rankings of teacher pay.

Teachers here received an average pay of $49,837 last year, according to the National Education Association. While that’s good enough to move this state from ranking 41 to ranking 35, it still lags the national average by $9,000.

A view of the Wake Forest University campus
Ken Bennett / Wake Forest University

Six Winston-Salem colleges and universities will establish funds to support campus entrepreneurship.

Each institution will award between $25,000 and $100,000 in grants to student, staff or alumni startups.

Textbook warehouse.
Flickr

Public schools in Wake County will move away from traditional textbooks in favor of online learning materials.

Bertie County schools has a deficit of $700,000.
RambergMediaImages / Flickr/Creative Commons

A new audit of Bertie County Schools reveals a system deficit of more than $700,000, mismanagement of school funding, and potential violations of state laws that go back to at least 2011.

Cedar Fork Elementary in Wake County would have to add three more kindergarten classrooms under the class-size change scheduled to go into effect in the fall.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Republican lawmakers say they have a compromise to reduce elementary class sizes while addressing concerns from local school districts.

Housing
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A new report ranks Raleigh 22nd among 50 U.S. cities in terms of housing affordability for teachers. Charlotte ranked 30th. The analysis compared average rent in each city to local teacher salaries.

Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi / Flickr

Since at least the 1990s, partisan politics haven’t had a place in most school board races in North Carolina. Historically, just a small minority of state’s 112 school boards have been elected on a partisan basis. But that may be changing. In the last five years, the state legislature has more than doubled the number of school boards elected on party lines.

The 2017 election laid bare stark divisions between urban and rural areas of the United States, and North Carolina was no exception. While highly-regarded research universities and the creation of Research Triangle Park helped turn the state’s economy around in the 1950s, they also created an economic and political wedge that continues to grow to this day.

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