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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at teacher working conditions

Questions about racial and ethnic equity, as well as safety, were included in this year’s North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey, reflecting public schools’ heightened priorities. The state Department of Public Instruction invited 121,424 educators to participate in the 2020 survey. It received responses from 102,545 educators, a response rate of 84.5%.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

State Board of Ed adopts safety guidelines for reopening public schools

Lt. Gov. Forest is the lone "no" vote on plan developed by state health experts School districts in counties where the threat of coronavirus infection is low should be allowed to operate differently than those in counties where the threat is greater, says Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Top Story

Monday numbers: UNC-Chapel Hill’s planned return to campus

As the 17 schools in the UNC System prepare to bring students back to campuses this fall, each is making its own plans on how to do so as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Much of the focus, however, is on UNC-Chapel Hill, the system’s flagship campus, which last month launched launched the “Carolina Together” website to share details from its “Roadmap for Fall 2020.”

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Top Story

Will UNC students and faculty ‘vote with their feet’ on the prospect of returning to campus?

Classes start in just over two months, and Eric Muller, a professor in UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Law, should be consumed with textbook choices, syllabi and lesson plans. Instead, he’s thinking about his wife, who cares for her 90-year-old mother. To just how much risk will be exposing his family each day when he comes home from work?

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Education Top Story

PW exclusive: State Board of Ed urged to jettison firm hired as part of controversial Innovative School District scheme

A confidential letter delivered to the State Board of Education alleges that the school management firm Achievement for All Children has failed to meet its contractual obligations in running Southside-Ashpole Elementary, to the detriment of its students. The letter, obtained by Policy Watch, recommends that state education officials terminate the contract — three years early — under which the firm oversees Southside-Ashpole, the lone school in the state’s controversial Innovative School District.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Faculty, students skeptical as UNC-Chapel Hill prepares to reopen in August

At the end of an hour-long question-and-answer session with UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz Wednesday, English professor Florence Dore gave voice to what many faculty were thinking about a planned return to campus August 10. “All the data suggest people are going to get sick,” Dore said. “I guess I just don’t understand why we’re not staying online until things improve.”

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Education News Top Story

Lawmakers renew effort to assure statewide high-speed internet access

High school students in the small mountain town of Sylva have been going to extreme lengths to find an adequate place to complete their schoolwork. Because they don’t have broadband at home, these students—and thousands like them in rural North Carolina—roam their towns, searching for an internet signal so they can learn. “I have seen students sitting in their cars doing their homework trying to find somewhere with an internet signal,” Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossamon said at a press conference last week.

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Education Top Story

NC’s already dire childhood hunger problem has gotten a lot worse

State and local officials have been forced to improvise in an effort to feed hundreds of thousands of hungry kids Even before the pandemic forced schools to close in mid-March, food insecurity was a big problem in North Carolina. The state ranks 10th in the U.S. in the percentage of people — 15.1% — who at some point in the year don't know where their next meal is coming from...

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Fetzer resigns from UNC Board of Governors

Controversial conservative cites family duties, but evidence indicates other board members forced his hand Tom Fetzer, one of the UNC Board of Governors’ most combative and controversial members, abruptly resigned Wednesday morning. Fetzer announced his decision at the end of the board's regular meeting, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that he and his wife need to prioritize homeschooling their five children in Wilmington.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

NC students likely to have trouble finding health, mental health services when schools return

Experts say NC's existing shortages of nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers will be aggravated by pandemic trauma Some students — especially those who are homeless or in difficult living situations — who have been unable to go to school because of the...

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Despite controversy surrounding his biography, Ramsey elected to full term as UNC board chair

Behind the routine elections at the UNC Board of Governors this week there was drama. At the heart of the controversy: questions about Chairman Randy Ramsey’s official Board of Governors biography, which until recently said he earned a degree that he does not hold.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fetzer courts controversy again with new effort to shape ECU Board of Trustees

Tom Fetzer had a problem — again. It involved East Carolina University — again. Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, inserted himself into yet another hiring decision about the school. This time it was the question of Van Isley’s appointment to the ECU Board of Trustees.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Newly elected education leaders pledge to resist privatization, say pandemic could change future of public schools

Tamika Walker Kelly began to hear talk about the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE) being taken over by "radicals" almost immediately after winning election to become president of the state’s largest teacher advocacy group.  It’s a description with which the Cumberland County elementary school music teacher takes issue.

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Education Top Story

PW special report – “It’s been more than long enough”: The unfulfilled promise of the Leandro ruling in Halifax County

A generation later, an original plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit hopes state leaders will finally do their constitutional duty One evening in 1994, the Pender family — Schnika, then 15, and her parents, Clarence and Isabelle, sat down to dinner, when they usually talked about school and discussed events of the day. But this conversation was unlike any other.  The conversation took place over dinner, which was when the Penders usually talked about school and discussed events of the day. 

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Pandemic bringing changes to higher education that could be long-lasting

Some say “new normal” at UNC could feature more faculty input, fewer applicants, depleted budgets and an expanded commitment to online instruction This week Eric Muller dialed in to a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leadership video conference to wrestle ...
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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Positive virus tests spurs Durham Public Schools to cancel popular meals program

A week ago, Durham Public Schools (DPS) bus driver Gail Clay was what’s known these days as an "essential employee." That meant the work Clay did was important enough that she was expected to show up while DPS employees with less essential jobs or jobs they could perform remotely were told to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  Clay’s “essential” duties included delivering food to needy students ordered to stay home since March 13 after Durham became one of the first districts in the state to announce it would close schools to help battle the contagious and deadly virus.

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