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.


Senate Republican response to Leandro report is way off-base

By: - December 20, 2019

Since gaining control of the General Assembly in 2011, Senate Republicans have expressed concern for children’s literacy. However, a recent Senate Republican press release indicates that North Carolina’s greatest literacy needs are in the halls of the Legislative Building, where Senate Republicans are unable to comprehend the recommendations of the recently-released Leandro consultant’s report and are […]


Long-awaited Leandro report calls for setting new course for North Carolina’s schools

By: - December 10, 2019

Today, the much-anticipated Leandro report was made public, giving North Carolina parents, educators, students, and education advocates have an important new roadmap for ensuring that our public schools provide every child with the education they deserve. The report – a collaborative effort from some of the nation’s leading education experts – is a comprehensive examination […]


Rogue state superintendent keeps breaking the law

By: - November 13, 2019

The state schools superintendent keeps breaking the law. Strangely, nobody at the General Assembly seems to care. Similarly, the capital press corps has shown no interest in holding his rogue actions to account. Johnson’s lawbreaking centers around two rounds of iPad purchases, neither of which were conducted in accordance with state law. Johnson’s spending spree […]

NC Public School Forum to tackle the challenges facing rural schools

By: - November 12, 2019

In October, the Public School Forum of North Carolina announced the launch of Study Group XVII to examine the unique education challenges facing students across rural North Carolina. The effort will bring together subject matter experts from across the state to identify the unique barriers to success faced by rural students and to develop policy […]

Does money matter in public education? Let us count the ways.

By: - September 17, 2019

Powerful new research confirms numerous benefits of substantially increasing public investments For decades, a debate raged in education policy circles: does money matter? While this question has definitively been answered by academics, it will undoubtedly be the subject of heated debate over the next year in North Carolina.   In June, court-appointed consultants submitted a much-anticipated report detailing how North Carolina can meet its constitutional requirement to provide a “sound, basic education” to all students.


Legislature’s budgets (mini or otherwise) fail to approach school needs

By: - August 29, 2019

The General Assembly’s inability to craft a budget generating the requisite support of the Governor or three-fifths of legislators has spurred a new approach: the “mini-budget.” The General Assembly’s latest plan is to forego a comprehensive budget bill and instead pass a series of piecemeal bills to address some of the state’s most politically sensitive […]


A modest proposal: Use the state surplus to help meet school construction needs

By: - August 23, 2019

In some ways, February seems like a lifetime ago. But in those early days of the 2019 legislative session, there was broad, bipartisan consensus that it was finally time for state leaders to do something about school districts’ $8 billion-plus of outstanding school capital needs. Senate leaders wanted to funnel more money into their pay-as-you-go […]


Vetoed budget would have done nothing for education

By: - July 1, 2019

After releasing House and Senate budget proposals that would have done next-to-nothing for public schools, the General Assembly approved a conference proposal (vetoed by Gov. Cooper on Friday) that would have done even less. In an unprecedented move, education budget writers presented a compromise budget that somehow spends even less than either of the inadequate […]


The hidden budget provision to kill sex ed in North Carolina

By: - June 24, 2019

Anyone who has spent much time around the General Assembly is familiar with Alan Hoyle, even if they might not know the name. Hoyle is a Lincolnton, NC street preacher. But around Raleigh, he’s most notable for circling the General Assembly in his red truck adorned with anti-gay messaging, Bible verses, and graphic images of […]


NCGA budget proposals are a slap in the face to educators

By: - June 20, 2019

On May 1, thousands of educators and public education advocates flooded the streets of Raleigh to demand additional resources for North Carolina’s public schools. Organizers from the North Carolina Association of Educators outlined five policy priorities: Provide enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national standards. Provide $15 […]

Nine ways in which “school choice” and its overzealous backers are harmful to NC public schools

By: - June 12, 2019

At a recent Civitas Institute panel discussion, former state senator Joel Ford lamented that – because he supports charter schools – he gets labeled as “anti-public school.” Ford, now a board member of school choice propaganda mill Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), appeared confused as to why critics throw that label at him.


Senate education budget is a dereliction of duty

By: - May 30, 2019

For years, North Carolina’s public schools were a signature point of pride for the state. But a decade of austerity, neglect, and misguided policy has left our system with several challenges that require immediate intervention: Student performance is stagnating with Black and Hispanic students increasingly being left behind Reports of suicidal behaviors are increasing, particularly […]