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.
 

Man unloads truck of canned food and produce for food pantry
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Wake County Commission Chair Jessica Holmes understands kids who grow up not always knowing where they’ll find their next meal.

Governor Roy Cooper’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education met for the first time this week. Cooper created a commission of educational experts to inform consultants, who will submit a written report to the court to recommend how the state can u
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A new commission tasked with giving input on a decades-long court case with broad implications for public education in North Carolina met for the first time this week.

Kalyani Hawaldar stands in front of poster describing the tax plan's effect on graduate students.
Courtesy of Kalyani Hawaldar

The U.S. House Republican's version of the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act threatens to eliminate a major tax benefit for graduate students. Now some area graduate students are speaking out against it.

Teacher helps student at desk.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Cyrus Henson arrives at his classroom at 7:15 a.m. each day after an hour-long commute through the foothills of western North Carolina. He teaches a full day of math to freshmen, then stays until 6 p.m. to prepare for the next day.

carrots and apples
Biser Todorov / Flickr

The Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle have put a total of 10 food pantries in Raleigh high schools as of this year. The county helps pay operational costs while the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle provides non-perishable food and fresh produce.

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The Robeson County School Board has come out against the State Board of Education's decision to select one of its elementary schools to be the first school in the state's new Innovative School District.

a woman and child walking at the Duke University campus.
rmanoske / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/a8PTMJ

Duke University's endowment could take a hit if the Republican tax plan passes. The bill includes a new excise tax on universities whose endowment fund is valued more than $100,000 per student. That could amount to a $10 or $15 million annual tax for the university, according to Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld.

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

The State Board of Education voted in its November meeting to close Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy in Bertie County after a series of issues that the Charter School Advisory Board Chair Alex Quigley called, "a pattern of failure."

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The State Board of Education has approved Southside Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County to be included in the state's new innovative school district. The initiative was created under state law to bring together low-performing schools and turn over their operations to charter school management companies.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

A legislative task force is poised to lead in making big changes to the way the state allocates funding to North Carolina's public schools.

The Silent Sam monument stands prominently on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus. Protestors for and against the statue’s removal attended rallies near the monument on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Thirty-four faculty members of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill School of Law have sent a letter to Chancellor Carol Folt urging the immediate removal of the Silent Sam Confederate monument.

Austin Allen / Duke Nicholas School of the Environment

Duke University researchers have new insight into why marine animals are eating plastic.

calculator with the word college
Jake Rustenhoven / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Roy Cooper has declared this Financial Aid Awareness Week, and this Saturday colleges across the state will hold FAFSA Day events. That means it's time for prospective college students to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The single application allows students to apply for both federal and state grants and loans to help pay for higher education.

view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Small business owners affected by Hurricane Matthew can apply for assistance from a new block grant program.

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

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation has found that children of color and those from immigrant families lag behind others in nationwide measures of health, education and economic security.

John McCord / UNC Coastal Studies Institute

Archaeological researchers at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute have identified a shipwreck in the Outer Banks as a World War II assault craft. Locals had previously rumored that the wreck was a gravel barge that ran aground in the 1960s, but a recent excavation suggests the vessel had a more remarkable past.

"Based on initial assessment, the story's often much deeper, and it's only through research that we get at that story, and in this case it was a surprise to me," said lead research Nathan Richards.

Principal Denita Dowell-Reavis stands in front of the doors to Faith Elementary, a school in Rowan County.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

This is Denita Dowell-Reavis’ second year as a principal at Faith Elementary, a public school in the small town of Faith, in Rowan County. She worked hard last year. While finishing her doctorate degree in educational leadership, she helped her school exceed its expected test scores.

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.

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