Credit CPB

David Schott / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow charter school organizations and charter management companies to take over the state's lowest performing schools.

June Atkinson is the North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Jeff Tiberii

State Superintendent June Atkinson is asking lawmakers to consider a 10 percent raise for teachers across the board. Atkinson delivered her proposals to a group of lawmakers Wednesday.

Anthony Jackson, Vance County Superintendent, Vance County Schools
Vance County Schools

Many of North Carolina’s rural school districts sit in the middle of communities with struggling economies resulting in high unemployment rates, poverty rates and high school dropout rates.

The UNC-system saw its highest enrollment ever last fall, and data show minorities are driving the system's growth.

University Classes, Schools Canceled Friday

Jan 21, 2016
snow on I-40
Dave DeWitt

Updated at 6:26 pm: 

School and business closings are starting to come in, ahead of Friday’s expected storm.

UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and NC State University have canceled classes for Friday.

Here's a list of schools that have announced they will be closed Friday:

  • Wake County Schools
  • Durham Public Schools 
  • Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools 
  • Orange County Schools 
  • Cumberland County Schools
  • Chatham County Schools
  • Johnston County Schools
  • Alamance/Burlington Schools 
  • Guilford County Schools 
  • Franklin County Schools
  • Edgecombe County Schools
  • Nash/Rocky Mount Schools 
  • Person County Schools 
  • Lee County Schools 
  • Roanoke Rapids Schools
  • Weldon City Schools
  • Northampton County Schools
  • Warren County Schools

Reema Khrais

In Durham’s Central Park School for Children, classrooms look and feel different than they did just a few years ago. Frankly, the charter school is not as upper-middle class or white as it used to be.

“There’s a greater diversity of viewpoints, there’s a greater diversity of perspectives,” Director John Heffernan explains.

Teacher pay increases may be a possibility in the upcoming legislative session, according to Rep. Hugh Blackwell (R-Burke), who chairs the House committee on education spending.

children reading
U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

Guilford County Schools says it needs more resources and teacher training to boost reading scores.

A picture of a student doing school work.
Marco Arment /

North Carolina is home to more Early College High Schools than any other state. New numbers show some of the most successful programs are in rural school districts.  Early College High Schools make it possible for students to earn an Associate’s Degree while still in high school. 

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

A high school student is petitioning the Wake County Public School System to create a policy allowing transgender students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

CJ Lewis's petition on has more than 600 digital signatures.

Ricky Hurtado is the executive director of the Scholars' Latino Initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he helps Latino high school students earn a college degree.
John Houston

Growing up in rural North Carolina, Ricky Hurtado knew little about the state's education system. As a first-generation Latino-American, he saw limited resources around him to achieve a college degree.

He worked two jobs in high school to save money for college. With support of his family and teachers, he eventually earned a full ride to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through the Morehead-Cain scholarship.

DeShannon Korrea and Dwayne Taylor head home, lottery tickets in-hand, from the BP on Lakewood in Durham.
Jess Clark

At Saturday night's Powerball drawing, one very lucky ticketholder could win more than $900 million—the largest lottery jackpot in the nation's history. Ticket sales from Powerball and other lottery games offered in North Carolina are billed as a benefit for the state’s schools. Sales in 2015 were almost $2 billion, and about a quarter of that went to fund public education in the state. But what does that really mean for school funding?

teacher in a blur with classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

The State Board of Education has approved a policy that allows struggling charter schools to stay open if they are less than five years old.

As part of the 2013-14 state budget, the State Board of Education is required to study virtual charter schools and propose draft rules.
Ian Usher via Flickr

  UPDATED Jan. 11, 2016

Twenty percent of students who enrolled in the state's first virtual charter schools left before the end of the semester, according to a report from the state department of public instruction.

State Board of Education member Olivia Oxendine says she wants to find out why so many students are pulling out.

Lt. Governor Dan Forest has asked the State Board of Education to delay the approval of an annual report on charter schools because he says he thinks the report is too negative.

The state board planned to approve the report this week in order to send it to the General Assembly before a January deadline.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr

The State Board of Education meets Wednesday and Thursday this week, and charter schools occupy much of the agenda.

Headshot Photo of Terri Phoenix, the director of the LGBTQ Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

This is a rebroadcast of a program that aired last year.

Terri Phoenix (T) grew up always feeling like an outsider. As a young child in a poor, fragmented family, Terri moved around more than 10 times before starting high school and was always the "new kid."

According to the U.S. Department of Education, data from a few years ago show that about a fourth of NC teachers work a part-time job.
Flickr user Mike Mozart

In the popular teenage movie Mean Girls, there’s a scene where a few high school students spot someone unexpected at the mall.

“Oh my god, that’s Mrs. Norbury,” one student exclaims.  

“I love seeing teachers outside of school, it’s like seeing a dog walk on its hinds legs,” a second student adds.   

It’s their math teacher, played by Tina Fey. But she’s not shopping.

“No, actually I’m just here because I bar-tend a couple of nights a week,” she says.

Taking On A Retail Job

multiple choice test
Alberto G. / Flickr Creative Commons

This is a rebroadcast of a show that aired earlier this year.

College athletics programs are under a lot of pressure to make money for their schools. That means, among other things, keeping players academically eligible.

Sen. Jerry Tillman addresses the Academic Standards Review Commission before their vote on final recommendations.
Jess Clark

The state commission charged with reviewing the Common Core voted yesterday on its final recommended changes to the state’s academic standards. But the final suggestions may be not be satisfactory to Common Core opponents in the legislature who want a total rewrite.

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education under George W. Bush, has been tabbed as the next UNC system president.
LBJ Foundation / Flickr Creative Commons

The controversial hiring of Margaret Spellings as the new UNC system president has received national attention for its political implications.

Some professors say her background as Secretary of Education under the George W. Bush administration is a signal of more divestment in higher education.

But some of Spellings' former colleagues say she is just what the UNC system needs to connect with a Republican legislature.

A picture of a family reading together.
Chiotsrun /

More new students enrolled in charter schools, home schools or private schools last school year in Wake County than in the traditional public school system.

Taken together, charters, home schools and private schools enrolled almost 3,600 new students last school year in Wake. Meanwhile, the public school system added around 2,000 new students--far fewer than predicted. Wake enrolled about 1,000 students fewer than projected in each of the last two school years.

The North Carolina Association of Educators is endorsed Democratic candidate Roy Cooper for governor in early December.
Jess Clark

UPDATED Dec. 15, 2015

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is the state's largest teachers' group, but Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Madison) is concerned it's not large enough to be eligible for the state to collect dues for the group out of its members' pay checks.

10-year-old Tiylar Friday
Reema Khrais / WUNC

Tiylar Friday is a long-time reader.

"Ever since I was, I think, five," he says.

Today, he's 10. And he's got a lot of books.

"Sometimes I wouldn't like to read a book, but after I get in the middle of it, I just want to keep going cause I’m curious about what would happen next."

When Tiylar was in the third grade at his school in Greensboro, he and his peers were tested for gifted classes.

John Williams is fond of saying that he does not have problem children, but children with problems.

Williams is the principal of Phoenix Academy High School in Chapel Hill, an alternative school that has no school resource officers.

In the last three years, Phoenix Academy has become a model high school for other alternative institutions in North Carolina.