Public Education

Gavel
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

 After hearing lengthy arguments on Tuesday, Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood says he will make a ruling on the legality of the state's private school voucher program Thursday morning.

The program, also known as Opportunity Scholarships, uses taxpayer dollars to help low-income families send their children to private schools. The annual grants go up to $4,200 per student.

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

Teachers demonstrate Monday morning outside Riverside High School in Durham
Dave DeWitt

Teachers are gathering outside of schools across the state Monday in protest.

The “teacher walk-in” is being staged before and after the school day by those who feel disrespected by changes to education policies in the most recent legislative session. 

Those policies include the elimination of tenure, discontinuing salary increases for teachers who earn master’s degrees, and no money in the budget for textbooks.

  County School Boards have long since been in charge of school construction. However, the Senate recently passed a bill that would hand over school construction to county commissioners in 10 North Carolina counties. Many people who oppose the bill argue that county commissioners may have experience building prisons but not schools. This is one bill out of many that have been progressing through the Senate recently.

Seventy new charter schools have applied to become part of North Carolina’s growing population of alternative public schools. For the longest time, the number of charter schools in the state was capped at 100, but lawmakers changed that back in 2011.

House Speaker Thom Tillis
N.C. General Assembly

State legislators have invited groups of educators to visit Raleigh this week in order to get more input on measures that would affect the state's schools. House Speaker Thom Tillis says he and other leaders want to know what educators consider their most pressing issues.

When organizers of North Carolina's public Governor's School summer enrichment program learned that the state General Assembly had cut their funding, they went to work raising money. So far, the group has secured more than $100,000 in hopes of keeping the program afloat, but not every public educational program at risk has the ability to keep itself funded. What problems arise when we rely too heavily on private donations to pay for public school programs?

Bev Perdue
Office of the Governor

Leaders in business, education, and government gathered in Raleigh today to discuss the future of student readiness. They were there as part of the "Many Voices, One Goal" Education Conference.