Present day controversies are front and center at legislative hearing on the future of public education
Committee chair challenges the relevance of state's landmark Leandro school funding case The state’s decades-old school funding case, Leandro, could become “moot," depending on decisions by a House select committee charged with “reinventing” North Carolina’s public education system, State Rep. John Torbett, a Gaston County Republican and chairman of the committee, told Policy Watch on Monday.
High stakes at the state’s highest court over school spending mandates
The colossal dispute over the proper financing of North Carolina’s public schools that has played out over 28 years is heading to a showdown before the state Supreme Court. Yes, again. Sometime after April 18, the high court will decide whether the General Assembly is fulfilling its duty to ensure that the state’s public school students – and especially those in counties where poverty is endemic – have a fair chance to get an education good enough to meet the state constitution’s guarantees.
Masking the truth: If only Republican lawmakers really cared about our children as much as they claim to
To listen to North Carolina Republican lawmakers last week as they advanced a bill to end school mask requirements, it was hard not to be struck and even impressed by the passion that some of them displayed in expressing their love and concern for the state’s children. Multiple lawmakers talked of the terrible impact that the pandemic has had on children and the desperate need...
Leandro plan provides a golden opportunity for progress and common ground on school choice
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.”
State judiciary must protect NC from its power-hungry legislature
Among all the issues and challenges confronting North Carolina as 2022 gets under way – overcoming the pandemic, easing rural poverty, alleviating environmental threats, improving access to health care, on and on down the sobering list – it’s fair to say none is more urgent than shoring up our beleaguered public schools and strengthening citizens’ ability to participate meaningfully in our democracy.
Year in review: Critical Race Theory, mask mandates and Leandro funding made for a tumultuous 2021 in education
Critical Race Theory and face mask mandates dominated the state’s education headlines in 2021, even as students and teachers struggled to recover from a year of remote learning that saw standardized test scores fall to new lows. Racial and economic inequities in education, exposed by the pandemic, were quickly shoved to the background by a loud minority of irate parents who complained...
In the face of sustained legislative neglect, it’s up to the courts to rescue North Carolina’s public schools
In the rough and tumble realm of politics, it can be a hard call as to whether someone is standing firm on worthwhile principle or simply obstructing out of plain old bullheadedness – perhaps because it plays well among some voters. So let’s consider the example of North Carolina’s legislative leadership and its prickly response to a judge’s order in the epic Leandro school funding case.
Veteran NC educator, school integration pioneer recognized with state’s highest civilian honor
North Carolina Award recipient Dudley Flood reflects on a lifetime of combating segregation and improving public schools At age 90, Dr. Dudley Flood, an education trailblazer who helped North Carolina’s public schools to integrate, can easily recall attending an all-Black high school. It was more than 75 years ago in tiny Winton, a town of fewer than 800 residents in Hertford County.
General Assembly sends new state budget to Cooper for final approval
Despite concerns, most Senate and House Democrats vote to approve $25.9 billion plan The first complete state budget in nearly three years will give teachers and state employees raises retroactive to July 1, spend nearly $1 billion to expand broadband, and billions more on new buildings.
Judge’s order to up school funding is legally, practically, and morally correct
It’s about time. What took so long? Better late than never. Those are some of the obvious reactions that caring and thinking people have had in recent days to last week’s order from state Superior Court Judge David Lee directing state legislators to pry open the state’s massive savings account and pony up the first $1.7 billion-plus installment toward bringing the state’s broken public school system into compliance with the state constitution.