NC bill would require special elections in some party-switchers’ districts. (Think Tricia Cotham)
The bill might as well be called the No More Cothams Act. Democrats from Mecklenburg County who voted for Rep. Tricia Cotham last year and say she betrayed them when she became a Republican are backing a bill that would force new elections in some party-switchers’ districts. A Senate bill filed this week inspired by […]
North Carolina could add as many as 7 new charter schools in the fall to push total to 211
North Carolina could get as many seven new charter schools this fall to bring the total number of charters operating in the state to 211 for the 2023-24 school year. There are 206 charters operating this school year but two — Eastside STREAM Academy and Invest Collegiate Transform, both in Charlotte, will close at the […]
Senate budget would take education funding to destructive new depths
“Fund students, not systems” has become the rallying cry of the country’s most extreme school choice zealots. It’s a silly motto for many reasons. Notably, private schools and public schools are both “systems,” and systems are necessary to efficiently provide students with high quality education serving the public good. Despite the motto’s obvious ridiculousness, it […]
Activists discuss the harm inadequate public schools funding causes educators, students
Inadequate school resources help to fuel the school-to-prison pipeline, says Letha Muhammad, co-executive director of the Raleigh-based Education Justice Alliance. The lack of school counselors, social workers and other school support staff and funding for restorative justice programs that provide alternatives to harsh discipline policies all help to feed students with discipline problems into the […]
Is this really the North Carolina we want?
There are few days that go by that I don’t have a moment of appreciation for the beauty around us in North Carolina. The trees, the hiking trails, the flowers… It’s quite amazing. I seem to notice it even more lately, as Spring has taken its time. As I had another of these moments recently, […]
NC House panel advances controversial bill to dramatically expand school vouchers
The state’s House Committee on K-12 Education on Tuesday powered through a controversial expansion of North Carolina’s school voucher program that could forever change the state’s public education landscape. House Bill 823 was topic No. 1 ahead of Thursday’s crossover deadline. The Republican-backed legislation would open the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program to all families regardless […]
NC Rep. Tricia Cotham, then and now
About two weeks before her Democratic primary last spring, Rep. Tricia Cotham declared her unequivocal support for abortion rights. “Now, more than ever we need leaders who will be unwavering and unapologetic in their support of abortion rights,” she wrote on Twitter on May 3, 2022. At a news conference last week where Cotham announced […]
State Superintendent would lead an elected State Board of Education under House GOP proposal
Some state Board of Education (SBE) members would be elected, and the state superintendent would chair the SBE under House Bill 17, which was filed in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Hugh Blackwell, a Republican from Burke County, who has frequently stated his preference for an elected […]
Why are School Choice Week’s loudest supporters opposed to expanding school choice?
School choice week is upon us once again. Groups of lawmakers, advocates, and school leaders will praise General Assembly leadership for dramatically expanding school choice over the past decade. They will thank legislative leaders for increasing the number of charter schools and creating voucher programs that now give families earning over $100,000 per year over […]
Familiar debates over funding, teacher pay likely to dominate public education policy in 2023
The new year in K-12 education is likely to look a lot like the past year with the Leandro school funding lawsuit and a controversial teacher and licensure proposal likely among the key issues North Carolina lawmakers will debate when their 2023 "long session" begins later this month. Both topics garnered lots of attention toward the end of 2022. In November, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling and ordered the General Assembly to hand over millions of dollars to pay for a long overdue school improvement plan.
Two new reports confirm gross inadequacy of North Carolina’s public school funding
North Carolina’s school funding system is among the worst in the nation, according to two new reports from the nation’s leading school finance experts. New reports from the Albert Shanker Institute (ASI) and the Education Law Center (ELC) assess every state’s school funding systems across multiple quality measures. Both reports reach the same conclusion: North […]
Let’s hit pause on half-baked teacher performance pay proposal
The November 30th State Board of Education meeting will be the most consequential in some time. The Board will determine whether to recommend radically overhauling how to certify and pay the state’s 93,000 teachers. At question is whether the Board will move forward with an ambitious performance pay plan called Pathways to Excellence. The plan […]