Liz Schlemmer

Education Policy Reporter

Liz Schlemmer
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Policy Reporter, a fellowship position supported by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. She has an M.A. from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Media & Journalism and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University.

She has previously served as a temporary Morning Edition producer and intern at WUNC and as a news intern at St. Louis Public Radio. Liz is originally from Indiana, where she grew up with a large extended family of educators.
 

Courtesy of CASA

The Triangle-based affordable housing nonprofit CASA is proposing to build a new 24-apartment complex reserved specifically for Durham Public School teachers. CASA has submitted its proposal to the State Employees Credit Union for financing.

The entrance to the Wake County Public Schools administration office.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The 2017 state budget significantly changed the way the state's nearly 2,500 principals are paid, and that has members of the State Board of Education simultaneously grateful and worried.

Elon University conducts regular public polling.
Elon University

The latest Elon University Poll asked registered North Carolina voters what they thought of President Trump, Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, climate change, NFL players taking a knee and what ought to happen to Confederate monuments.

More than 930 voters responded, and here's what they had to say:

Is President Trump doing a good job?

By 2020, immunization efforts that began in 2001 using 10 vaccines in 73 low- or middle-income countries will have prevented almost 20 million child deaths and saved $350 billion in the cost of treating illnesses.
GAVI Vaccine Alliance / UNC

Researchers at the UNC-Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy say vaccines have saved 20 million lives and $350 billion in the world's poorest countries since 2001.

Nelley
Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Education is awarding nearly $15 million to four Wake County magnet schools. This is the largest single competitive grant Wake County Schools has ever received.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A team of EMS students works to resuscitate a full-size dummy that is going into cardiac arrest in a high school gym. The first responders are 16 year-old juniors at North Wake College & Career Academy, and this is just the beginning of their careers.

New DACA driver's license
NCDOT

President Trump announced earlier this month that he's rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but some recipients are still eligible for renewal. The program offers work visas to undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children. El Centro Hispano is partnering with the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro to hold a free legal clinic to assist with renewal applications this Saturday afternoon at the Carrboro Town Hall. 

The entrance to the Wake County Public Schools administration office.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Schools in Wake County are among hundreds across the state preparing to meet a legislative mandate to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. The Wake County school district is faced with making that reduction while expecting the same steady student growth it has seen in the past decade.

a high school sohpohmore at a locker
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The bell rings at Granville Central High School to signal lunch time on a recent afternoon. Hundreds of students pour into the hallways carrying bright-colored backpacks, lunches and laptops. But not one student is holding a book – or stopping at a locker.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A few dozen young immigrants stood at the Central Carolina Bank Plaza in downtown Durham on Tuesday, carrying protest signs and shouting, "Undocumented, Unafraid."

Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill

The Sierra Club has recognized several North Carolina universities for their sustainability efforts, naming them "Cool Schools" in 2017 as part of its annual ranking. The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill beat out Appalachian State, Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, ranking 28th overall out of 217 universities on the list. 

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

Thousands of school buses will hit the roads this week for the first day of classes at many schools across the state. Whether you're a parent of a school-age child or a motorist sharing the road with buses, here are several things to keep in mind: 

An image of Duke Campus
Duke University

Duke University is planning to raise its minimum wage for eligible employees and full-time contract workers to $15 an hour by July 2019. That's more than twice the federal and state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

NC State University
NC State University

A five year decline in North Carolina students enrolling in teaching programs appears to be turning around. The University of North Carolina system saw a 6 percent uptick in education degree-seekers last year.  One college of education is seeing gains in enrollment as students return this fall.

Elena Ceberio

Hundreds have gathered across the Triangle in candlelight vigils for victims of the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. One day after a car plowed into a crowd of people counter-protesting a white supremacist rally, North Carolinians gathered at various sites to remember the slain 32 year-old Heather Heyer and 19 others who were injured.

school supplies
Flickr via Robert S. Donovan

North Carolina's governor used the launch of a school supply drive on Tuesday to argue that the GOP has been inadequately funding education, forcing too many teachers to have to use their own money to buy pencils and paper for their students.

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

The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship program supplies funds to help up to 6,000 low income students attend private schools. The state-run program is slated to expand in coming years. Education researchers from North Carolina State University recently evaluated the scholarship to see how it's working for parents and schools who participate.

People listen in as the joint redistricting committee meets in Raleigh on August 4, 2017.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Democrats in the State Senate are pushing for what they call fair redistricting. The legislature meets this month to redraw district maps.

No surf boards were rented from Jason Heilig's Rodanthe Surf Shop. On a typical July day, Heilig would hope to see that cart totally empty.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Carloads of tourists rolled in, stores stocked seafood counters and kitchen workers chopped vegetables Friday as two North Carolina islands reopened to visitors after a weeklong power outage at the height of vacation season.

Crews worked to reconnect power cables.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Power has been restored to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. Utility crews with Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative and its contractors completed work earlier Thursday afternoon.

Flickr Commons

Recently released research from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill projects that unchecked climate change will significantly impact premature deaths associated with air pollution.

Courtesy of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority

Customer satisfaction at Raleigh-Durham International Airport is on the rise, according to the airport’s latest survey. That comes as the airport is also experiencing record traffic. Ninety-nine percent of customers rated the airport as a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale. 

Oregon Inlet
Courtesy of the NC DOT

The latest on efforts to restore electricity to a portion of North Carolina's Outer Banks evacuated of tourists after a construction accident cut power lines (all times local).

Crews continued to work on the Bonner Bridge project.
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative

Construction crews have determined that all three transmission cables providing power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands have been compromised, but portable generators may allow visitors to return soon. 

The Hedgecock Farmstead
Courtesy of Preservation Greensboro Incorporated

The High Point Historic Preservation Society is seeking an agreement with Guilford County to preserve a historic farmstead at no cost to the county.

Flickr Creative Commons

The number of teen athletes who have knee surgery to reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is on the rise, and girls have seen the sharpest increase. Researchers from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill say the results are concerning and point to the need for better injury prevention among high school and youth athletic teams.

City of Raleigh

Visitors to the Neuse River Greenway can enjoy a large field of blooming sunflowers this month. But the greenway doesn't maintain the bright field of flowers. The sunflowers are actually owned and operated by the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility, formerly known as the wastewater treatment plant. 

Courtesy of Mike Carraway

Residential areas in western North Carolina have seen an increase in bear activity in the past month, including some especially unusual behavior from a couple of black bears in Asheville and Cashiers. 

Courtesy of Sidney Brodie

For nearly 20 years, Sidney Brodie has sewn a new patch to the Durham Homicide and Victims of Violent Deaths Quilt each time a homicide occurs in the city.

He began the quilt in 1998 with the name of Shaquanna Attwater, a 2-year-old girl killed while playing on her front lawn in 1994. Today, the quilt has almost 700 names on it.

Criminal: The Procedure

Jul 7, 2017
JULIENNE ALEXANDER/CRIMINAL

Abortion has been legal in the United State for almost 45 years, but before it was, seeking an abortion was very dangerous. This week's Criminal podcast tells the story of a covert network of clergy who organized to help women get illegal abortions in the late 1960s. 

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