Lindsay Wagner

Lindsay Wagner, former Education Reporter for N.C. Policy Watch. Wagner now works as a Senior Writer and Researcher at the NC Public School Forum. She has also worked for the American Federation of Teachers in Washington, D.C., as a writer and researcher focusing on higher education issues and for the National Education Association, the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright program and the Brookings Institution and an Education Specialist at the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. [email protected]

Teachers, state employees caught in the middle as treasurer, hospitals battle over State Health Plan

By: - July 23, 2019

When Wilkes County middle school librarian Susan Ringo recently had a stroke, she came through the medical crisis only to learn she had other undiagnosed congenital health issues that will require a lifetime of medical care at no small cost. She had planned to rely on the State Health Plan to keep herself both physically and financially alive. 

House budget proposes even less transparency for NC’s already unaccountable school voucher program

By: - May 6, 2019

Since its inception, North Carolina’s school voucher program has suffered from a stunning lack of transparency and accountability that should safeguard the public’s investment in private schools. The voucher program already makes public dollars accessible to private schools that are free to discriminate by turning away students who are gay or transgender, have disabilities, or who don’t subscribe to a religious doctrine.

NC’s class size crisis: House wants to address in January, but Senate appears uninterested

By: - December 4, 2017

North Carolina school districts counting on a January legislative fix to the class size mandate that’s having a big impact on schools and families may need a Plan B.

House lawmakers say they are keenly interested in legislative action next month that would either delay implementation...

There’s simply no way to know whether NC school vouchers are really helping low-income kids

By: - August 8, 2017

The leader of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, Darrell Allison, said recently that school vouchers aren’t likely to hurt children from low-income households who use them. But he couldn’t say definitively that the voucher program actually helps these children, either.

Why? Because despite the fact that North Carolina spends millions of taxpayers’ dollars each year on vouchers, we have no meaningful data that can tell us if this is an effective way to help poor students who deserve a high quality education.

Serious questions arise for state’s largest voucher school

By: - March 30, 2017

Embezzlement trial, incomplete financial statements cloud future of school that has received $1.2M in state funds

North Carolina’s largest recipient of private school vouchers has filed a financial review that lacked basic information consistent with “generally accepted accounting principles,” according to the agency overseeing the taxpayer-funded program.

North Carolina’s school voucher program: an accountability and transparency wish list for 2017

By: - January 6, 2017

A common refrain I hear in the course of my reporting and writing about school vouchers — a program that is set to take a large bite out of our public coffers in North Carolina in the months and years ahead — is that at the end of the day, it’s the parents who should be the enforcers of accountability for this publicly funded effort to shift state money into private schools.

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

By: - July 28, 2016

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.”

Tiny private school puts spotlight on voucher system’s flaws

By: - March 1, 2016

Despite lack of standards and accountability, NC ‘Opportunity Scholarships’ program is poised to grow

Star Christian Academy, a K-12 private school, occupies two rooms in the back of New Generation Christian Church in Smithfield. According to a former student, it has just three teachers for the 13 grades, and they provide minimal active instruction.

Paving the way toward privatization

By: - December 10, 2015

Since taking charge in Raleigh, conservative lawmakers have been steering public dollars into a range of alternatives to traditional public schools that march under the banner of “school choice.” Beginning as a trickle, but with the potential to become a flood, spending is growing for vouchers to pay tuition at private and religious schools; an […]

Losing its luster

By: - December 9, 2015

By any measure, Asheville Middle School’s Chris Gable was a teaching star. Gable outperformed all of his colleagues as measured by his students’ test scores, and he had a gift for engaging his students. He coached young writers and was always finding innovative ways to make language arts interesting. But a salary low enough to […]

Starving the schools

By: - December 8, 2015

Barbara Dell Carter is not a social worker. Nor is she a nurse, psychotherapist, nutritionist or a special needs educator. Carter is a second grade teacher. But in today’s classrooms in North Carolina, she’s expected to take on much more than planning lessons and teaching her students. “And the needs of our students are just […]


Changing hats, but my focus remains on education

By: - September 30, 2015

Dear NC Policy Watch readers, It’s been a great pleasure to connect with all of you and bring you news and information about what’s going on with public education here in North Carolina. Today is my last day with NC Policy Watch, although I’ll still be wrapping up some remaining projects over the next few […]