NC Common Core review commission holds first meeting, elects supporter of standards as its co-chair

Andre Peek and Jeannie Metcalf co-chair the Academic Standards Review Commission.

A North Carolina commission tasked with reviewing and replacing the Common Core State Standards met for the first time on Monday to determine first steps and elect two co-chairs, one being McCrory-appointed IBM executive Andre Peek, who declared himself a supporter of Common Core after the meeting. “I am a supporter of Common Core, and [Continue Reading...]


Teachers reflect on pay increase, budget cuts as they begin a new school year

lw-904-400

As teachers at Randleman Elementary School bid farewell to summer, readying their classrooms with supplies and materials that many bought with their own hard-earned cash, Principal Laurie Sypole cited one thing that she couldn’t find among the desks they tidied and the pay stubs they filed away. The missing puzzle piece? The lawmakers who were [Continue Reading...]


NC school vouchers ruled unconstitutional

Vouchers_unconstitutional-8

In a stunning rebuke to state lawmakers’ efforts to bring school vouchers to North Carolina, state Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood today found the recently-enacted “Opportunity Scholarship Program” unconstitutional and permanently enjoined disbursement of state funds for that purpose. “The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with [Continue Reading...]


Schools lose teacher assistant funding in legislative wrangling over economic development bill

fix

In an apparent surprise to GOP leaders, rank and file members of the House voted down an economic development bill Tuesday that because of unusual legislative maneuvering needed to pass to pave the way a bill that would have allowed local school districts to save more teacher assistants’ jobs. “The teacher assistant fix [Continue Reading...]


N.C. Department of Public Instruction forced to eliminate more than 50 jobs that serve struggling schools, technology infrastructure

lw814b

The agency tasked with implementing the state’s K-12 public school laws and policies is coping with a 10 percent funding cut handed down by lawmakers last week by eliminating more than 50 jobs, many of which are devoted to helping struggling schools. “We’re abolishing approximately 54 positions out of roughly 450 state-funded staff [Continue Reading...]


State lawmakers’ education plan comes up short for veteran teachers, cuts critical areas of support for the classroom

LW_805a

Last week, lawmakers passed a state budget that they promised would offer teachers an average 7 percent raise—but instead of boosting all teachers’ pay by a simple percentage, a new salary schedule is in place that offers younger, inexperienced teachers big gains while shortchanging veteran teachers who have gone to great lengths to [Continue Reading...]


Less transparency, fewer protections hallmarks of latest charter school legislation

charterschools

As lawmakers draw closer to finalizing a state budget that has drawn the most attention for how it may boost teacher pay and cut Medicaid, another battle is taking place at the legislature, too—over lowering standards for North Carolina’s growing number of charter schools. Following several years of significant changes lawmakers have enacted [Continue Reading...]


Emails show lawmaker pushes hard to expand NC’s school voucher program before it gets off the ground

Vouchers14

Date of voucher payout to families moved ahead of critical court hearing that will decide if program is legal Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam has long supported school vouchers and successfully co-sponsored legislation that would put 10 million taxpayer dollars into the hands of families wishing to send their children to private schools instead [Continue Reading...]


Cutting teacher assistants means eliminating school bus drivers and other critical services too

school-bus-blue2

Senate leaders continue to propose cutting teacher assistants as a way to pay for a significant teacher salary bump, the first teachers have seen in years. While the General Assembly debates back and forth over the impact teacher assistants have in the classroom, there’s another factor in the equation that is getting far [Continue Reading...]


Budget negotiations update: Teacher assistants find themselves at the center of the battle over teacher pay

BudgetNegotiations_709-400

Lawmakers continued to face an impasse in budget talks this week by fighting over whether to ditch teacher assistants in the state’s elementary classrooms as a way to pay for teacher salary increases. Senate budget writers pitched a new plan on Tuesday that would still give teachers an 11 percent raise, as they [Continue Reading...]


Governor McCrory hands out $10,000 bonuses to hundreds of teachers, while tens of thousands more continue to go without raises or classroom support

GTN_400

On Tuesday, Governor Pat McCrory congratulated 450 teachers who gathered in Raleigh to be recognized for winning $10,000 bonuses in federal Race to the Top grant funds, at a time when the vast majority of the state’s 95,000+ have gone without raises and faced steep classroom cuts over the past several years. “As [Continue Reading...]


North Carolina school superintendents uneasy over state budget proposals

LW_618

Four superintendents from North Carolina’s largest school districts came together Tuesday to express their concerns about lawmakers’ 2014 budget proposals, as the legislature comes close to giving teachers the first significant pay raise they’ve seen in years – but not without asking them for significant sacrifices. “At a time when other businesses are [Continue Reading...]


State Board of Education’s authority weakened with legislation that replaces Common Core

CommonCore_NC1

Lawmakers who sit on the House Education Committee approved legislation yesterday that would endeavor to replace the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with another set of standards developed here in North Carolina. The proposed legislation, which hits the House floor this afternoon, would have two key effects: prohibit the possibility of engaging in [Continue Reading...]