Dave DeWitt

Reporter @DaveDeWitt

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Environment Reporter. He came to WUNC in 2003 and spent four years on the staff of The State of Things.

He regularly files for NPR’s news magazines as well as Marketplace and Only A Game. He formerly worked in college athletics, college admissions, and with the Tar Heel Sports Network. In 2001, he wrote the non-fiction book "True Blue".

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Education
5:52 am
Fri August 15, 2014

McCrory Surveys Education Reforms

Gov. Pat McCrory
Credit Dave DeWitt

Governor Pat McCrory praised the Legislature for raising teacher pay in its last budget. He also expressed some disappointment that several of his signature efforts in education were not included.

McCrory spoke to the Education Conference of the North Carolina Chamber.

The Governor’s initial budget included smaller teacher raises than what was eventually passed. But the concept of paying teachers more at the beginning of their careers was one the Governor and Legislature shared, as was simplifying the teacher pay schedule.

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Politics & Government
2:04 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

McCrory: 'We Haven't Broken Any Rules'

Gov. Pat McCrory.
Credit www.governor.state.nc.us

Governor Pat McCrory is responding to charges that he misstated when he sold his stock in Duke Energy. McCrory worked for the company for almost 30 years. 

Speaking to reporters after an education conference held by the North Carolina Chamber, the Governor faced a series of questions about when he sold the Duke stock that was part of his 401k.

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Education
6:00 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Teacher Training Centers Saved In Recent Budget

The NCCAT building in Ocracoke is one of two training centers in the state.
Credit NCCAT

The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching was one of the winners in the most recent state budget. The publicly-funded professional development program for teachers had been slated for closure in both the Senate and Governor’s preliminary budgets in recent years.

The final version of this year’s budget allocates $3.1 million dollars a year in recurring funding for the NCCAT.

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Education
8:01 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Fight Over Hofmann Forest Not Over Yet

The Hofmann Forest was named for Julius Hofmann, the founder of the Department of Forestry at NC State.
Credit Historical State, NCSU Libraries

A resolution may come soon in the case of the Hofmann Forest sale.

N.C. State University is trying to sell the 80,000-acre coastal forest. Opponents say the land serves many vital conservation purposes and should not be sold. 

Since a Wake County Superior Court judge threw out the case last November, opponents have launched two online petitions, flooded the Attorney General’s office with 4,000 emails, and placed hundreds of yard signs across the Triangle and eastern North Carolina.

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Education
2:43 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Duke Kunshan Ready For Students

Artist's rendering of Duke Kunshan University.
Credit Duke University

  

Duke Kunshan University is set to open in a few weeks. The campus near Shanghai will begin with 75 students in three graduate programs. 

Just one of Duke Kunshan’s buildings is ready, so the students will be housed in a local hotel. But when it’s finished, the city of Kunshan will have spent about $200 million constructing the campus.

Duke University will rent the campus for free, but will split $80 million in operational costs over the next six years with the city.

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Education
7:49 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Legislators Cut Buses, Again

Credit Dave DeWitt

Local school districts in North Carolina will have less state funding for school buses this year. The General Assembly cut $4.6 million from the budget for school transportation.

The cut comes one year after the Legislature upped the number of miles a school bus could stay on the roads.

"We do have a bit of an older fleet out there, not dramatically, but it is an older fleet now," says Derek Graham, the director of transportation services at the Department of Public Instruction. 

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Education
11:59 am
Thu August 7, 2014

The Year Of The Teacher

Jim Potter teaching at Lockhart Elementary School in Wake County.
Credit Dave DeWitt

This is The Year of the Teacher, a documentary from North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC looking back at an extraordinary year in public education in the state.

Just before lunch, the kids in Jim Potter’s third-grade class are sitting at attention, engaged and enthusiastic. This isn’t his classroom – he’s doing his student teaching here at Lockhart Elementary in Wake County – but it sure seems like it. His energy is up, the kids are with him, and the minutes fly by.

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Education
5:09 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

School Budget Cuts Come Into Sharper Focus

Credit Dave DeWitt

Many of the smaller changes that came out of last week's state budget could have a sizable impact on local schools. One of the changes, added late in the negotiating process, cuts $9 million from programs aimed at helping at-risk students.

The cut was one of the many smaller pots of money that Republican budget writers used to pay for teacher raises.

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Education
8:37 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Wright School Fights, Again, To Stay Open

The Wright School serves the most challenging students from across North Carolina.
Credit Dave DeWitt

Doris Tilley has driven by the Wright School, on Roxboro Street in Durham, for 50 some-odd years. Many times, she’s thought of turning into the gravel driveway, to re-visit the place that had such a significant impact on her family.

Last Friday, she did just that, meeting with students and staff.

Tilley’s daughter was one of the very first students here, in 1963. It was one of the few positive educational experiences she would ever have.

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Education
10:08 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Why Teacher Pay Matters Even If You Are Not a Teacher [Interactive Map]

Interactive county map with Wake County highlighted.
Credit Keith Weston

Even the most informed citizens sometimes lose track of all the chatter that’s going on in the General Assembly. Fights between Republicans and Democrats, the Governor and fellow Republicans, teachers and legislators – at some point, for even the most insatiable news junkie, it devolves into just so much noise.

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