State House committee advances latest version of anti-Critical Race Theory legislation
Republicans defend bill as promoting equality, while Democrats forecast chilling impact on honest classroom discussions Rep. Ken Fontenot, a Wilson County Republican, vigorously defended House Bill 187 this week, contending that the bill restricting how educators teach about race, gender and sexuality, would prevent educators from teaching racially divisive doctrines.
NC schools are struggling to survive while rich people and corporations keep getting tax cuts
In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly started cutting taxes (mostly for big corporations and wealthy people). Most years since have seen lawmakers continue to divert public funds from things like schools, childcare, broadband, water quality, and public safety, to the pockets of out-of-state corporations and the wealthy few. These cuts also put more of […]
Republican lawmakers to NC schoolchildren and teachers: The attacks will continue until morale improves
In case you hadn’t noticed, North Carolina public schools, along with the children and teachers who inhabit them, are suffering mightily these days. The Public School Forum of North Carolina reports that the number of youth suicides in our state has doubled in recent years and that there’s been a 46% increase in the number of kids who have suffered with one or more “major depressive episodes” since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, thousands of educators are voting on the state of our public schools with their feet.
Five steps Gov. Cooper can take to ensure the Leandro ruling benefits students for years to come
In November, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in the long-running Leandro court case. By a 4-3 margin, the justices ordered the state to provide our public schools, early education providers, and higher education institutions the funding necessary to implement years two and three of the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan. The court ruled that the state continues to violate the constitutional rights of North Carolina’s students to have access to a “sound basic education.”
Report: Confidence in public education has decreased since pandemic
Nearly 50% of voters say their confidence in public education has waned since the pandemic sent public education into a tailspin, according to a national survey of voters and parents released Monday by the Hunt Institute. The Hunt survey also shows that only a quarter of parents believe school district officials, state education leaders and […]
Report: Decline in teachers with traditional education degrees linked to growth in charter schools
As charter schools proliferate across America, there has been a corresponding decline in the number of new teachers earning bachelor’s degrees in education from traditional educator preparation programs, according to a new study from the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH). Researchers Doug Harris, the national director of REACH, and Mary Penn, a research partner at the center, found that for every 10% increase in charter school enrollment...
Legislative committee hears from national expert on building and keeping a strong, diverse teacher workforce
Lowering standards to attract people of color to the teaching profession is bad policy, a national education expert told state lawmakers on Monday. Heather Peske, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), said that relaxing standards for passing licensure exams “perpetuates the myth that racial diversity is equivalent to less skill.”
Schools and state health officials should go beyond CDC guidelines to ensure continued access to in-person learning
As students returned to school across North Carolina this week, school leaders are facing a daunting challenge: how to academically support students knocked off track by the pandemic while still navigating an ongoing COVID pandemic that puts student and staff health in jeopardy. This critical challenge is heightened by lack of strong guidance from the […]
Successful public schools: More than just providers of a sound basic education
What is the purpose of a public school system? Twenty-five years ago, in its landmark Leandro ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the purpose was, at a minimum, to provide every child in this state with the opportunity to obtain a “sound basic education.” This week, the court will hear a new round of arguments (and presumably, attempt to fashion a permanent solution) in that same, seemingly never-ending case.
Who decides on ‘sound basic’ spending? Stay tuned
Like it or not – and there are plenty of reasons to worry amid the familiar end-of-summer bursts of excitement – another school year will soon get under way. The pressures on our public schools are immense as kids’ setbacks during the pandemic come into focus, as teacher vacancies spike, and as the schools become […]
NC legislative proposal would dramatically overhaul how North Carolina governs its public schools
GOP sponsors push for an elected state school board, but Democrats warn against further politicizing public education A bill that would require State Board of Education members to be elected is a “horrible idea” that could exacerbate the state’s growing partisan divide over public schools, says June Atkinson, a former state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Atkinson’s remarks are in response to questions about House Bill 1173, Republican-backed legislation that would put the question of whether to elect state board members before voters as part of a referendum.