Education Policy

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

More than half of the state budget is spent on public education.

In the latest budget adjustments, state lawmakers approved an average 4.7 percent raise for teachers.

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.

Lawmakers voted this summer to eventually eliminate teacher tenure, replacing it with temporary contracts. The State Board of Education will discuss a model contract this week.
cybrarian77 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cybrarian77/6284181389

Teacher pay is one of the biggest political items in the state's spending plan North Carolina lawmakers are currently debating.

House and Senate Republicans have different ideas over raising teacher salaries, though both want to give an average 4 percent boost.

Under the Senate’s plan, most of that extra money would go toward teachers with less than 15 years of experience. Those with 25+ years of experience would not see any increases to their current base salary from the state.  

Moore County Schools

Updated Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 a.m.

The Moore County School Board has reinstated the embattled schools superintendent, after four board members resigned.

The board voted suddenly Thursday to buy out the contract of Superintendent Bob Grimesy, who is popular among parents, teachers and government officials.

State Representative James Boles called for the resignation of five board members.

Multiple media outlets report that a smaller school board voted 4-1 last night to reinstate Grimesy.

Wednesday, June 8

Pressure is building on Moore County School Board members after the Board voted to fire the county's popular Superintendent. 

Without explanation, the school board voted 5-to-3 Thursday to fire Robert Grimesey.

The North Carolina legislative office building
Wikipedia

North Carolina lawmakers have introduced a plan to increase state spending by more than $1 billion.

The budget draft introduced Monday afternoon would grow starting teacher salaries, give state employees a 2% raise and put $120 million toward a film grant program. The $22.2 billion draft budget roughly represents a 5% increase compared to the current state spending plan.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

North Carolina House representatives are introducing parts of their two year spending plan.

Education, Health and Human Services, transportation, and judicial appropriation committee meetings take place throughout Thursday as policy makers begin to digest parts of a $21 billion state spending plan.

UNC-Chapel Hill

In 1972, Frances Campbell was a mother of two, simply looking for a part-time job in Chapel Hill, when she stumbled upon what would be a groundbreaking study on early childhood education.

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill asked her to examine the benefits of early education on children from poor families. They called it the Abecedarian Project.

(Read a 1974 booklet that describes the project here.)

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

State lawmakers passed nearly 100 bills in two days to meet this session's crossover deadline, the time when non-budgetary measures have to pass at least one chamber of the General Assembly to stay alive.  

Bills about the death penalty, education policy and environmental regulations are among those that still have legs.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia and WUNC education policy reporter Reema Khrais about the measures that survived or failed to meet the crossover deadline.

Vivian Connell

When Vivian Connell was in college, she was already a teachers' advocate. She was on CNN in the network's early years to talk about a teacher's wrongful termination at the University of Georgia. But she wanted more people to hear her voice.

When Vivian became a teacher, she amplified it through her students. They advocated for land conservancies and against genocide in Africa. But she still wanted to be louder.

J.B. Buxton
J.B. Buxton

    

J.B. Buxton began his career in education in an unlikely place: South Africa.

As a Morehead Scholar from UNC, Buxton taught in a South African school as apartheid began to crumble. The experience shaped Buxton's perspective on education and launched his long career in education policy.

He served as education advisor to Governor Easley and as Deputy State Superintendent of the North Carolina Schools. Buxton now leads the move for a charter school to serve Southeast Raleigh's neediest students.

Dudley Flood speaks to the NC Air National Guard in 2011
North Carolina National Guard

    

It had been 15 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down segregation in schools.  

But in 1969, most public schools in North Carolina were still segregated, so when Dudley Flood was called to desegregate every school in the state, he was overwhelmed, but he was not skeptical.

He had learned from his tiny hometown in northeastern North Carolina that education could be the great equalizer.

high school students
Vancouver Film School via Flickr/Creative Commons

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has released letter grades for every school in the state.

They are based on standardized testing and academic growth. The report says 29 percent of them got a D or an F last year, which by law prompts them to notify parents of their low grades.

Supporters of the new evaluation system say it is more comprehensive. Opponents say it is not an accurate depiction of public education.

Renee Ellmers
http://beta.congress.gov/

Another battle over abortion regulations played out in Washington this week. This time, the conflict was within the Republican Party over a bill in the House that would have banned abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) led the opposition, but put her support behind a new measure that would cut all federal funding for the procedures.

Meanwhile, a North Carolina judge heard arguments about new proficiency standards for public schools. He's considering whether they meet the constitutional mandate of a "sound, basic education."

Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan
NC General Assembly/US Senate

    

As the midterm elections get closer, education is a prominent topic in North Carolina’s congressional races.