Kris Nordstrom

Kris Nordstrom

Kris Nordstrom is a Senior Policy Analyst with the North Carolina Justice Center's Education & Law Project. He previously spent nine years with the North Carolina General Assembly’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division.


Charter school advocates’ obsession with small federal grant program continues to distract from efforts to provide charter students the funding they’re owed

By: - May 13, 2022

Look at the chart below. Which is larger, the column on the left or the column on the right? If you answered, “the column on the right” – potential funding increase for charter schools under Leandro – you would be correct. The $405 million of new funding that charters stand to gain from the long-running […]


Charter school advocates tell on themselves with whining over federal program changes

By: - April 15, 2022

Advocates for charter schools have long justified the existence of charters by claiming they serve as laboratories of innovation for traditional schools. They have claimed that operational flexibility and exemption from regulation allows them to operate more efficiently than traditional public schools. And they have claimed that they are not only willing – but better […]


State schools Superintendent largely ignores recommendations to strengthen and diversify her new Parent Advisory Commission

By: - April 13, 2022

At the end of March, Every Child NC, a community-led, statewide coalition of organizations, parents, teachers, and students who advocate for every child’s constitutional right to a sound, basic education, sent a letter to state schools Superintendent Catherine Truitt with recommendations that would have strengthened Truitt’s new Parent Advisory Commission. Unfortunately, recent reporting has shown […]


Reports highlight need for lawmaker action on student mental health

By: - February 18, 2022

The recently published annual report from the state’s Child Fatality Task Force details the increasing mental health needs faced by North Carolina’s children and outlines steps the state should take to promote the safety and well-being of children. A second report from the Hopeful Futures Campaign details the inadequacy of our state lawmakers’ response. The […]

Leandro plan provides a golden opportunity for progress and common ground on school choice

By: - February 10, 2022

In January, Governor Roy Cooper surprised many by issuing an official proclamation recognizing School Choice Week. The proclamation had long been a priority of school choice advocates in North Carolina such as the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools, which viewed the gesture as “an olive branch.”


New report documents North Carolina’s ongoing school finance shortcomings

By: - December 7, 2021

A new report confirms what policymakers have long known: North Carolina’s school funding system is among the country’s worst. Last week, some of the nation’s top school finance experts from the Albert Shanker Institute and Rutgers University published the latest edition of their annual report “The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Finance Systems.” Similar […]


New education budget fails to address students’ basic needs

By: - November 17, 2021

When the General Assembly convened back in January, their assignment was to enact an education budget that put the state on the path towards providing students with “sound basic” schools by 2028. The state’s long-running Leandro court case even provided legislators with a step-by-step guide to the investments and policy changes necessary to complete the […]


Without legislative action NC schools could soon lose $132 million

By: - November 1, 2021

The pandemic has created untold new challenges for our public schools. From managing multiple modes of delivery, being forced into making public health decisions, absorbing abuse from unhinged parents, addressing widespread student trauma, and coping with widespread staff vacancies…the last thing our schools need is for lawmakers to add to their plate. But if the […]


National experts continue to give NC failing grades on school funding

By: - October 28, 2021

For the past decade, North Carolina’s legislative leaders have prioritized tax cuts over providing students with public schools that meet constitutional standards. The obvious results of these misguided policy priorities have been documented by researchers at the Education Law Center, who show that North Carolina’s school finance system is among the worst in the nation. […]


NC schoolchildren deserve better than childish excuses

By: - October 1, 2021

“You can’t make me.” All of us have heard this taunt at some point during our childhood. “You can’t make me” says so much in four short words. It says, “I have the power, not you.” It says, “your interests are far less important than mine.” It’s a statement that’s selfish and demeans the less powerful.


House budget writers adopt the extreme view that NC constitution is optional

By: - August 6, 2021

While the right wing’s manufactured moral panic over critical race theory continues to generate headlines, there’s a real crisis in North Carolina’s public schools that continues to go under-reported: a General Assembly that chooses to ignore the state constitution in order to keep our schools underfunded. The crisis continues to harm North Carolina’s children by […]


New Justice Center report details North Carolina’s discriminatory school accountability system

By: - August 4, 2021

Since the 2013-14 school year, North Carolina has assigned each of its schools an A-F school performance grade. As folks have pointed out, these grades, based almost entirely on standardized test results, overwhelmingly label as “failing” schools that enroll large shares of students from families with low incomes. A new Justice Center report expands analysis […]