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Education

Education Top Story

Education budget shocker could alter the fundamentals of NC school funding

When GOP leaders in the General Assembly unveiled their privately-crafted $23.9 billion budget Monday night, the biggest surprise wasn’t its proposals for teacher pay or another round of tax cuts.

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Education Top Story

Teachers demand policy changes, cheer Cooper at unprecedented education rally

On Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger—one of the state’s most powerful Republican politicians—told North Carolina’s teachers they’d soon be receiving their fifth consecutive round of raises. Emily Rex heard Berger’s promise. But the fifth-year, special education teacher—who lives in Berger’s state Senate district in Guilford County—points out she’s received raises in four of the last five years, not that she could much tell after soaring health premiums took their toll.

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Education Top Story

Teachers, advocates: May 16th shaping up as an “historic day” for public education in NC

In the 11 years since she became a North Carolina teacher, Fayetteville’s Tamika Walker Kelly has seen more than a few changes in the state’s public schools. In 2009, she watched North Carolina, then under the control of a Democratic General Assembly and governor, push sweeping cuts and pay freezes in the midst of an economic recession. And she’s seen a new legislative majority—seized by Republicans in 2010...

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Education Top Story

DPI veterans question cost, speed, and value of latest agency audit

The longtime leaders of North Carolina’s top public school agency are questioning the depth and the cost of a newly-released organizational review that calls for a “transformation” in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Consultants with Ernst & Young conducted the agency review over a period of 12 weeks this year, after state Superintendent Mark Johnson asked for and received a $1 million budget allocation from state legislators last year to audit DPI.

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Education Top Story

School takeover group’s payment to ex-lawmaker raises ethics questions

An ex-North Carolina lawmaker received financial benefits for his work with a nonprofit that stands to win a state contract with the public school takeover program he helped create, documents obtained by Policy Watch show. A state disclosure form shows Rob Bryan, a former Charlotte legislator...

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Education Top Story

Following lead of other states, NC teachers plan big march and rally for legislature’s May return

“I could choose to do anything else with $50.” But Anca Stefan, a high school English teacher in a Durham public school, says she’ll fork over the $50 next month to take a “personal day” and join hundreds of her local colleagues to promote school funding increases at the N.C. General Assembly.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: A tale of three Halifax Counties

This morning, the state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the pivotal case of Silver, et al. v. Halifax County Board of Commissioners. At issue is plaintiffs' claim that the maintenance of three, racially segregated school districts in relatively small Halifax County has propped up a system of inequality that favors one predominantly white school district over two predominantly Black school districts.

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Education Top Story

Controversial former charter principal’s involvement raises more concerns about takeover of Robeson County school

When a politically-connected nonprofit takes over work in a languishing Robeson County elementary this year, they’ll do so amid questions about their experience and capacity for reaching at-risk children. But the concerns may go even deeper, a Policy Watch review has found.

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Education Top Story

Big questions regarding capacity, connections plague Innovative School District contractor

State Board of Education expected to approve controversial group for Robeson school takeover this week

When North Carolina’s top school board meets this week, it will consider the fate of an ethically knotty contract for the takeover of a struggling Robeson County elementary school.

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Education Top Story

Charlotte-Meck split? School district “secession” idea draws heavy criticism from integration proponents

The head of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools—North Carolina’s second-largest school system—says state lawmakers’ brewing talk of dividing large districts is “bad public policy.”

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Education Top Story

NC students take a stand against gun violence, express deep concerns about school safety

Tallulah Cloos, 18, sometimes ponders ideal hiding spots if an active shooter were ever to terrorize her Buncombe County high school. It’s not easy, she says. A.C. Reynolds High, located just southeast of Asheville, has a wide campus with an abundance of open spaces.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers – A closer look at what teachers think about about guns

Last month, in response to the latest in a series of mass shootings in American schools, some lawmakers suggested arming North Carolina teachers. Last week, pollsters at Elon University released a poll in which they asked North Carolina teachers about the issue.

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Education Top Story

Experts to Gov. Cooper’s education commission: NC school funding is near nation’s lowest

North Carolina’s public school system is one of the lowest funded in the nation when adjusted for cost of living, a K-12 researcher told members of a key state school panel Tuesday. It was just one of many data points hammered home, as school experts and administrators warned a key K-12 task force convened by Gov. Roy Cooper of troubling funding patterns, teacher shortages and yawning local spending gaps in North Carolina.

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Higher Ed Top Story

Legislators hope to find a compromise and a new home for UNC’s controversial Confederate statue

Students, faculty and staff at UNC continue protest the Chapel Hill campus’ Confederate monument, “Silent Sam.” The North Carolina Historical Commission continues to grapple with whether it can legally remove the statue.

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Education Top Story

NC’s massive school facility needs could overwhelm agreement on “historic” class size reductions

When North Carolina lawmakers approved what one Republican described as a “historic” investment in reducing elementary class sizes this week, it was viewed by many as a godsend for school districts that feared thousands of teaching jobs were at stake.

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Defending Democracy Education Top Story

Special update: Controversial bill on class size, pipeline fund, elections/ethics board merger heads to the Governor

An omnibus bill alleviating some of the headaches associated with North Carolina’s class size crisis easily passed the state House by a 104-12 margin Tuesday, despite continuing opposition from top Democrats on its controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Board of Elections provisions.

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