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Education

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Education Featured Articles

Former state legislator adds fuel to the fire over how charter schools are funded

When North Carolina lawmakers heard proposals in June to dramatically revamp how charters are funded, public school advocates pleaded for more time.

The bill before the chamber, a state Senate draft authored by a staunch charter supporter would have bound traditional K-12 schools to grant charters access to more pots of public funding. Lawmakers, concerned about the precedent of authorizing such a major change in funding during the chamber’s short session, deferred until next year.

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Education Featured Articles

Tempers flare among charter school supporters as state tightens vetting process

It was 13 days ago that the State Board of Education signed off on just eight of 28 aspiring new charter schools in North Carolina, a stunning flip for a board that’s approved dozens of new charters since state lawmakers lifted the 100-school cap on charters in 2011.

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Education Featured Articles

HB2 back in the spotlight after Mecklenburg Commissioner’s incendiary comments

When a U.S. Supreme Court stay on transgender-friendly school bathroom policies forced Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, perhaps the forerunner of such reforms in North Carolina, to reconsider its own groundbreaking policy last week, some bemoaned the news.

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Education

Budget cuts take a bite out of DPI’s ability to support local school districts

As enrollment rises, legislature slashes agency budget

“People in North Carolina, if they knew how little was spent on administration, they should be sending us ‘thank you cards’ for doing the work to support teachers in the classroom.”

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Education

Failing charter schools: Inadequate screening and oversight causing big problems for many NC families

Erinn Rochelle says she beat herself up for months after her sons’ charter school unexpectedly shut down during its first year of operation.

“Not only did I put my kids there, I recommended that school to my friends,” said Rochelle, whose children entered the brand new StudentFirst Academy in Charlotte in 2013. “Four or five of them decided to enroll their children there too, and it just makes me feel really bad. My name is tarnished.”

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Education Featured Articles

Accountability for NC virtual charter operators back in the spotlight after California forces K12 Inc. to pay $168.5 million settlement

Bill Cobey, chairman of North Carolina’s State Board of Education, has heard all about K12 Inc.’s California settlement, a purported $168.5 million pact with the state’s attorney general amid long-running allegations that the for-profit virtual charter school operator inflated student test scores and attendance to drain more cash from public coffers.

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Education Featured Articles

Making the grade

Which education bills passed, which got held back in the short session

Asked to sum up the 2016 short session of the N.C. General Assembly, Mark Jewell, president of the N.C. Association of Educators, takes very little time.

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Education Featured Articles

Stalled: NC school districts avoid immediate changes to policies for transgender students

Seeking to avoid political spotlight , many address transgender students on a “case by case” basis

When leaders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) issued new rules on transgender students last week, advocates say the system installed the broadest set of school protections yet for North Carolina students, including guarantees that children would be able to use the names, restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

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Education Featured Articles

Could proposed teacher background check bill silence protesting educators?

Supporters say bill is about student safety; others worry activists arrested during protests could lose licensure

For the better part of 24 hours, Anca Stefan’s phone has been humming. Messages, calls, social media notifications are pouring in from her now viral, diaristic account of her arrest, along with 13 other protesters, last week for demonstrating against state education policies near the state capitol in Raleigh.

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Education Featured Articles

Federal complaint says new N.C. policy harms poor children with special needs

To JoAnna Barnes, it’s the biggest education story you’ve never heard of in North Carolina. Barnes, a Triangle attorney and president of the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of N.C., says the state’s education leaders have, for about a ...
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Education

As legislative leaders tout teacher raises, educators highlight major shortcomings in the House and Senate budgets

Partway through last week’s unveiling of the state Senate budget, Sen. Phil Berger was asked by reporters if there were any major cuts to speak of in the $22.2 billion spending plan. Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County ...
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Education Featured Articles

Tempers flare as controversial Achievement School District bill clears House

Unproven model allows for charter takeover of state's lowest-performing schools

Rep. Cecil Brockman is admitting he could have been more eloquent.

The first-term High Point Democrat, co-sponsor of House Bill 1080, perhaps the most controversial K-12 education bill in the legislature thus far this year, was bristling when he rebuffed a fellow Democrat’s calls for teacher appreciation moments ago.

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Education Featured Articles

State lawmakers poised to loosen rules for virtual charter schools

In the space of one day last week, North Carolina’s virtual charter schools saw their controversial plans for overhauling attendance requirements axed, and then, mostly, restored. Such is the often rapid-fire speed of amendments lobbed in state House and Senate committees as North Carolina lawmakers wrangle over their budget plan this month. But as House leaders approved their spending plan last week and Senate budget chiefs prepared to unveil their proposals this week, one thing is clear, according to the state’s public school advocates: The virtual charters, besieged by high dropout rates and nationwide concerns about poor academic performance, are bound for relaxed regulations in North Carolina anyway.

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Education Featured Articles

ECU chancellor-elect brings complicated, political past to new role

Critics question whether ideology trumps academics in Staton's hiring

Late last month, when Cecil Staton—Republican politician, religious scholar, businessman and right-wing book publisher—was named the future chancellor of East Carolina University, the news came and went with little reaction from most North Carolinians.

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Education Featured Articles

Is it time to scrap the state’s salary schedule for teachers?

Key budget writer ponders better approach to compensate and retain educators

N.C. Rep. Craig Horn, an influential budget writer from Union County who chairs the House education appropriations committee, isn't sure he likes the current salary scale for teachers, the one adopted by lawmakers two years ago that nixes annual raises for teachers in favor of a multi-tiered approach with bigger pay bumps every five years.

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Education Featured Articles

Unvalued and unprotected

How HB2 increases the pressure on North Carolina's LGBTQ students

“We all know this. It’s intuitive, but the data is there to support it.”

Emily Greytak, research director at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one of the nation’s leading advocacy and policy organizations for LGBTQ students in K-12 schools, is assessing the startling data about school experience. Greytak’s able to reel off one number after another reflecting, in stark detail, the stunning disparities between LGBTQ youth and their peers when it comes to their school experience.

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