Reema Khrais

Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.

A North Carolina native, Reema began her radio career with Carolina Connection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an anchor and reporter. She later interned at The Story, and traveled to Cairo, Egypt to produce stories from the 2011 revolution. Her work has also appeared on CNN, The Takeaway and On The Media.

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Education
4:39 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

House, Senate Leaders Agree On Bill To Repeal Common Core

Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a bill that could replace parts – if not all – of the Common Core academic standards in North Carolina.

The two chambers drafted separate bills earlier this session that would create commissions to review the English and Math standards. The House bill recommended flat out replacing the standards, while the Senate legislation left open the possibility that parts of Common Core could continue.

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Politics & Government
8:06 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Senate, House Agree On Medicaid Spending In Game-Changing Budget Meeting

Credit Dave Crosby http://www.flickr.com/photos/wikidave / flickr

 After weeks of almost no budget talks, state lawmakers finally agreed to break their deadlock.  At a public conference committee meeting on Wednesday, they openly negotiated their adjustments to the two-year budget plan and seemingly resolved differences over Medicaid funding.

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Education
8:50 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Senate Ad Attacks Tillis on State's Education Spending

Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan will meet in November for a seat in the United States Senate.
Credit NC General Assembly/US Senate

House Speaker Thom Tillis is the target of a new ad that criticizes the state legislature’s cuts to education.

The Senate Majority PAC spent $800,000 on the ad in support of U.S. Senator Kay Hagan in her bid for re-election against her Republican rival.  

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Education
10:13 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

UPDATE: After Shutdown Order, Carrboro Charter School Allowed To Stay Open

Credit Reema Khrais

State officials have agreed to grant a three-year renewal to PACE Academy’s charter, months after the State Board of Education voted to terminate the Carrboro school’s charter.

WUNC reported on the status of the school earlier this year  in January and February

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Education
8:32 am
Fri June 27, 2014

NC General Assembly Summary: Thursday, June 26

Credit Dave DeWitt

House and Senate leaders are not showing signs of meeting their July 1 deadline to make adjustments to the state's two-year budget. They're still deadlocked over differences in their spending plans.

Senate leaders call the House's budget plans unbalanced and unsustainable. They say a five percent pay raise for teachers is not enough. Senators are offering 11 percent by cutting back on teacher assistants.

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Education
8:39 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Gov. McCrory And NC House Leaders Try To Speed Up Budget Talks With Education Plan

Governor Pat McCrory gathered with school leaders and legislators on Wednesday to show their support for a scaled-down spending plan that focuses on teacher pay.
Credit Reema Khrais

State House Republicans are teaming up with Governor Pat McCrory to help speed up slow budget talks. Legislators are supposed to make adjustments to the two-year state budget by July 1, but progress has been sluggish.

Representatives say they want to at least pass a scaled-down spending plan that focuses on teacher pay. It would give teachers an average five-percent raise without relying on funds from the lottery. 

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Education
6:47 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

State Lawmakers Begin Budget Negotiations With Looming Deadline

Credit Dave DeWitt

Senate and House leaders are expected to begin meeting in conference committees this week to make adjustments to the two-year budget plan. 

They have until June 30th to resolve differences and send their spending plan to Governor Pat McCrory.

Medicaid funding and teacher pay raises are expected to be the key sticking points in negotiations. But many Republicans, like Representative Craig Horn (R-Union), say they’re optimistic about the process.

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Education
10:41 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Teachers, Supporters Drop Off 300 Pound Petition To Lawmakers

Teachers and supporters carried heavy cardboard boxes of petition signatures calling lawmakers to raise the teacher pay to the national average.
Credit Reema Khrais

 A group of teachers and supporters dropped off a 61,000-signature petition to lawmakers on Thursday, demanding pay raises that do not result in destructive cuts to public education.

They carried the 14 heavy and large cardboard boxes to the offices of Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, who are currently leading the efforts to raise teacher pay. 

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Education
9:52 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

NC Bill Asks For Donations, License Plates To Pay Teachers More

Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

  State lawmakers say they want to create an education endowment fund to help pay high-performing teachers more money.

A proposed bill passed by a Senate Education Committee on Wednesday suggests collecting money for the fund through individual and business donations, tax refunds and special license plates.

Originally introduced by Republican Lt. Governor Dan Forest, the proposal presents a framework for an endowment and does not lay out the criteria for how the money is used.

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Education
10:26 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Lawmakers, Advocates Look To Expand Private School Vouchers

Parents, advocates and families gathered outside the legislative building on Tuesday to show their support for the state's private school voucher program.
Credit Reema Khrais

  North Carolina legislative leaders, parents and advocates are looking to expand the state’s private school voucher program.

They say they want to lift the cap so that all low-income families that applied and qualified for the program can receive help.

The program gives families up to $4,200 in tuition money at private and religious schools. More than 5,000 families – most of them minorities - applied for the coming fall, but less than half will be randomly picked, according to leaders of Parents for Educational Freedom North Carolina.

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