Lawmakers weigh options to reduce state commitment to retiree health benefits

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Despite the fact that North Carolina already ranks near the bottom nationally in the generosity of its retiree health plan—better only than Georgia—Senate and House lawmakers met on Monday to mull over ways to address the plan’s looming unfunded liability, with some options including a reduction and even elimination of the state’s commitment [Continue Reading…]


Senate bill proposes ending DPI control of charter school oversight

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Administration and oversight for public charter schools has been handled by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for years — but Senator Jerry Tillman, a longtime supporter of charter schools, wants to change that. “DPI was never in love…with charter schools,” Sen. Tillman (R-Randolph) said in a Senate Education Committee hearing on Tuesday as [Continue Reading…]


Is North Carolina next in line for New Orleans-style takeovers of failing schools?

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Around the country, states and cities are trying a new way to boost success rates at low-performing schools. New efforts labeled ‘recovery school districts,’ ‘achievement school districts,’ ‘turnaround schools,’ and the like are making their way into places that include Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas, to name a few — efforts that allow states [Continue Reading…]


Senate pushes to eliminate health retirement benefits for North Carolina’s teachers and state employees

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Buried deep in the Senate budget proposal that lawmakers passed last week is a provision that would eliminate state-paid health retirement benefits for teachers and state employees who are hired after January 1, 2016. “This puts the state at a major disadvantage in the recruitment and retention of state employees, teachers, and [Continue Reading…]


Senate budget ends health retirement benefits for future teachers and state employees

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Editor’s note: This story is cross-posted from the Progressive Pulse, where it originally appeared. A few short lines in the 2015-17 Senate budget would eliminate state-paid health retirement benefits for teachers and state employees hired after January 1, 2016. “This will negatively impact the state’s ability to recruit good, qualified folks,” said Richard [Continue Reading…]


NC Senate unveils education budget that guts teacher assistants, rewards less experienced teachers

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Senate proposes cutting more than 8,500* teacher assistant positions Senate leaders unveiled portions of a 2015-17 budget proposal Monday that gives teachers an average four percent pay raise and lowers class sizes in the early grades— but much like last year’s initial Senate proposal, the budget would also substantially gut funding for teacher [Continue Reading…]


North Carolina gets an F on its effort to fund public schools

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National reports note wide resource disparities Two national reports released this week find that North Carolina is failing to adequately fund its public schools, mirroring a years-long trend of state disinvestment in public education. In documenting the massive resource disparities in public schools nationwide, reports issued by the Education Law Center (ELC) and [Continue Reading…]


House education budget boosts teacher pay and school vouchers, falls short on classroom needs

Education

House lawmakers unveiled a draft biennial budget Monday that includes pay raises for all teachers and a patchwork of funding initiatives aimed at improving leadership and instruction — but what’s not in the budget is what some say will prove to be the biggest challenge ahead for North Carolina’s classrooms. “The proposed [Continue Reading…]


State Board of Education considers proposals to reduce high-stakes testing in NC

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The impetus for state education leaders to reexamine how North Carolina’s students are assessed on their academic progress rests with the understanding that students take too many tests and educators don’t learn enough about their students’ learning until it’s too late. Students sit for end-of-grade exams, walk out the door for the summer [Continue Reading…]