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Education

Education News Top Story

GOP’s “stealth slate” of candidates seeks to shift school board balance of power in one of NC’s most Democratic counties

On paper, electing a slate of registered Republicans to the Durham County school board appears to be a near mathematical impossibility.  In this county, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 5 to 1. In partisan races, such as the Board of Commissioners, GOP candidates are rarely successful.  

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Education News Top Story

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.

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Congress Education News Top Story

More than 1,500 books have been banned in public schools, and a U.S. House panel asks why

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee panel on Thursday examined why thousands of books, predominantly written by marginalized authors, have been banned from public schools, and the impact of those actions on students and teachers. “Most books being targeted for censorship are books that introduce ideas about diversity or our common humanity, books that teach children to recognize and respect humanity in one another,” said the chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Rep. Jamie Raskin.

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Education News Top Story

State Board of Education reviews controversial draft overhaul of teacher compensation

Despite assurances from DPI officials, some teachers worry that the plan would devalue classroom experience in favor of test scores and student surveys  A new compensation and licensure proposal that rewards “competency and skill” has some state teachers worried that "classroom experience would no longer be valued in North Carolina,” State Board of Education member Jill Camnitz said Wednesday.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at gag orders in K-12, higher education

Last month PEN America, the non-partisan non-profit that just celebrated 100 years of protecting free expression, published its latest roundup of educational "gag order" legislation across the U.S. The organization is actively tracking a national wave of  bills, many now becoming law, that make patriotism compulsory and restrict what can be said, read or taught about race and American history. 

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Higher Ed Law and the Courts News Top Story

Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court cases could curb colleges’ use of affirmative action

Conservative SCOTUS majority likely jeopardizes race-conscious admissions policies at UNC and Harvard WASHINGTON — A U.S. Supreme Court dominated by conservative justices could fundamentally reshape the college admissions process later this year when it takes up two landmark cases challenging affirmative action in higher education. The court recently agreed to hear two cases that challenge race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest private and public universities.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Email trove reveals new details of UNC Board of Governors’ refusal to reappoint popular UNC Press Board chair

More than nine months after a UNC Board of Governors committee refused to reappoint a widely respected UNC Law professor to the University of North Carolina Press Board of Governors, the UNC System has released hundreds of pages of email communications Policy Watch requested in connection with the conflict.

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Education Top Story

Final outcome in NC’s landmark school funding case remains in limbo as legislature seeks to derail enforcement

After nearly three decades, the Leandro case has yet to produce the remedy the plaintiffs say the constitution requires. Now, the courts will weigh in again Attorney Larry Armstrong has been a part of the state’s landmark Leandro school funding lawsuit for more than 27 years. The attorney for Halifax County Schools filed the original legal challenge in 1994.

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Education News Top Story

Audits show lucrative family venture at soon-to-be shuttered charter school

Managing Raleigh's Torchlight Academy was a lucrative family venture for Don McQueen. The school paid McQueen nearly $3 million in management fees between 2016 and 2020, financial audits submitted by the school show.  The Raleigh businessman ran the K-8 charter school with a reported 600 students (state officials could only confirm 489 during a recent on-site headcount) through his educational management organization (EMO), Torchlight Academy Schools, LLC.

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Education News Top Story

Tension, condemnations rise as “Don’t say Gay” bill nears vote in Florida Senate

On Sunday, at the start of a week in which the Florida Senate was scheduled to consider a nationally-watched piece of legislation referred to as “Don’t Say Gay,” the organization Equality Florida posted a statement condemning “homophobic, transphobic” remarks from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary. Christina Pushaw tweeted Friday in support of the bill that would restrict certain conversations on LGBTQ issues in Florida’s public school classrooms. That led to a scathing statement from Equality Florida...

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at teacher attrition rates in NC

As North Carolina schools experience unprecedented learning loss across all grades, the state is facing another challenge: How to keep and recruit the best and brightest teachers. It is, in large part, those educators who will determine how well North Carolina's school children bounce back academically two years into the pandemic.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC System considers raising cap for out-of-state admissions at HBCUs

NC A&T, NC Central, and Elizabeth City State targeted for significant hikes When the UNC System Board of Governors meets next month, its members will vote on whether to raise the cap on out-of-state admissions to three historically Black college and universities (HBCUs) in the system – North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and Elizabeth City State University.

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Education News Top Story

Repeated and serious management failures highlighted in recommendation to shutter once-promising charter school

State Board of Education is scheduled to consider recommendation to close Raleigh's Torchlight Academy Wednesday afternoon The state Charter School Advisory Board’s recommendation to close Torchlight Academy in Raleigh on Monday represented a dramatic fall from grace for Don McQueen, the owner of the firm managing the 23-year-old school.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer (and sobering) look at NC’s response to the mental health needs of the state’s children

"We've known for years what works in public education, but we've allowed our differences and our fears to stand in our way." State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis told members the House Select Committee on an Education System for North Carolina’s Future last week that the state must rapidly increase the number of skilled professional psychologists, social workers and school counselors to help students after two years of pandemic stresses.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

PW special report: UNC alumni magazine’s decision to cancel story examining university controversies raises questions, concerns

Carolina Alumni Review publisher denies political motives were behind decision to abandon planned investigative report The decision of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's alumni magazine not to publish a story about controversies involving matters of race, tenure and free speech, has prompted many people within and outside the university to wonder whether university pressure played a part in the story’s demise.

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Higher Ed Top Story

UNC-Chapel Hill trustee’s involvement in debate between candidates for student body president sparks controversy

The student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill is calling for the removal of a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, who he says interfered in an online debate between candidates for student body president earlier this month. Student Body President Lamar Richards sent a complaint to the UNC System president and chair of the UNC Board of Governors’ University Governance Committee...

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