Vouchers gain ground, public education loses in final budget

BY: - July 25, 2013

Funding levels for North Carolinian students do not keep pace with basic needs “For the first time in my career of more than 30 years in public education, I am truly worried about students in our care.” That’s the word from State Superintendent for Public Schools Dr. June Atkinson, in response to an education budget […]

Charter school movement on the verge of big wins in North Carolina

BY: - July 18, 2013

Charter schools are frequently touted as small laboratories of innovation where best practices in education can be developed and scaled up to serve the greater good, ideally in traditional public schools that serve all-comers. This week, however, North Carolina lawmakers voted to elevate charter schools to a bigger stage, allowing them to more easily compete […]

Review indicates NC could soon have nation’s most extensive voucher program

BY: - July 2, 2013

As North Carolina inches toward becoming the 13th state in the nation to have a school voucher program, the Tar Heel state has had some company this spring in its “race to the voucher.” Texas, Wisconsin and New Jersey each considered statewide voucher programs during this year’s legislative sessions. None of these proposals, however, compare […]

Senate leaders, charter school head try end run around State Board of Ed

BY: - June 28, 2013

For two years now, Arapahoe Charter School in Pamlico County has been fighting the State Board of Education for approval to expand from a K-8 school to a K-12 school. After the Board denied its request, Arapahoe appealed, and the case remains pending before the state Office of Administrative Hearings. Rather than wait for that […]

Mixed signals on charter schools

BY: - June 25, 2013

Separate oversight board nixed; weakened teacher standards retained Tuesday, the House Education Committee approved a new version of Senate Bill 337, which previously would have created a new charter school oversight board separate from the State Board of Education. However, Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Moore, Randolph), sponsor of the bill, brought to the House a last-minute […]

Who will hold voucher schools accountable?

BY: - June 20, 2013

As the North Carolina General Assembly considers enacting landmark legislation that would put publicly-funded vouchers for private schools in the hands of parents at a cost to public education of at least $50 million over the next two years, lawmakers and citizens are asking a simple question. Who will hold these publicly-funded private schools accountable […]

Karyn Dickerson interacts with students during an exercise with her students. (Photo by Ricky Leung)

Meet North Carolina Teacher of the Year Karyn Dickerson

BY: - June 18, 2013

The students in Karyn Dickerson’s 10th grade English Inclusion class at Grimsley Senior High School are restless. It’s the end of the school year and Dickerson is reviewing how to write a particular kind of essay, called a “constructed response,” for the upcoming end-of-course tests. To keep students engaged, Dickerson, who is the recently anointed […]

New faces of the SBE: Marcella Ramirez-Savage

BY: - June 4, 2013

NC Policy Watch is talking with new appointees to the State Board of Education to give our readers a sense of their backgrounds and philosophies on education policy in the state of North Carolina. Three open slots on the State Board of Education were slated to be filled under Governor Perdue back in 2011. Her […]

Senate budget slashes funding for school bus replacement

BY: - May 30, 2013

1,000 buses won’t be replaced this year Most weekday mornings during the school year, more than 13,000 school buses travel North Carolina roads to transport 790,000 students to school. According to the NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI), school buses contribute considerable cost savings to the state: buses keep 17.3 million cars off the roads […]

Large, out-of-state donors fuel North Carolina’s school “choice” movement

BY: - May 21, 2013

More than $90,000 funneled to state legislative campaigns in 2012 In March of 2012, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and ten other state lawmakers flew to Florida on the dime of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), an organization known for endorsing conservative education reform initiatives, including school vouchers. In the year […]

McCrory’s new State Board of Ed chair: NC could face lawsuits over charter school board bill

BY: - May 7, 2013

Last week, new State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey was not shy about sharing with his fellow board members his disapproval of SB 337, which would create a new charter school oversight board and set policy for charter schools. In advance of the bill’s vote on the Senate floor tomorrow, today Cobey shared with […]

School Vouchers: A Pathway toward Fraud and Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars

BY: - April 24, 2013

School vouchers and related efforts like tax credits, scholarship grants, and education savings accounts, have become popular tools of the education reform movement’s agenda during the past few decades. Touted as a way to provide school choice to parents, vouchers are promoted as an exit strategy for low-income students who are faced with poor educational […]