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education

Education Top Story

Payroll system switch shortchanges hundreds of teachers, leads to finger-pointing by state and local officials

State lawmakers aware of the erroneous deductions in March Bobbie Cavnar, a Gaston County Schools high school English teacher, was shocked last month when his paystub showed $1,600 worth of unexplained deductions. Fortunately for the 2016-17 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, his spouse works, and the couple could transfer money from savings to cover monthly bills.

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Education Top Story

U.S. education secretary urges boost in teacher pay, touts college debt relief

First Lady Jill Biden will accompany Sec. Miguel Cardona to NC next week as part of "Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour" WASHINGTON — Amid K-12 teacher shortages, book bans and attacks over critical race theory, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona at a meeting with reporters on Wednesday stressed the need for higher salaries to attract prospective educators to the profession.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

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.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: Two days ahead of pivotal Leandro court hearing, a look at the state of NC education funding

Well, that’s a wrap on the Summer of 2022. Students and teachers on the traditional calendar head back to school this week. And ...
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News Top Story

Monday numbers: Our children are hurting and here’s why

As parents busy themselves gathering last minute back-to-school items for their children, North Carolina's educators are prepping for what could be one of the most challenging years on record. Masks and social-distancing will be less common this year, but the pandemic has left an indelible mark on our children. A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion documents that children are strug­gling with anx­i­ety and depres­sion at unprece­dent­ed lev­els.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Teacher shortage underscores the unaddressed crisis in NC’s public education system

“We don’t have any teacher applicants for our vacancies,” said two superintendents from rural North Carolina public school districts. Think about that.  If they do not find qualified replacements or come up with alternative solutions, students will arrive on the first day of school Aug. 29 in classrooms without teachers.

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Education News Top Story

State education leaders advance new and controversial teacher compensation proposal

Superintendent Catherine Truitt denies plan would introduce "merit pay," but critics strongly disagree With just a few weeks left before the start of a new school year, districts are scrambling to fill teaching vacancies. North Carolina educators, and those in other states, are leaving the profession in large numbers on the heels of a traumatic COVID-19 pandemic that at its worst led to school closures, remote learning, and unprecedented stress and burnout for teachers.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

The last best hope for North Carolina’s public schools

There is a bit of mythology that sometimes creeps into the way longtime supporters of North Carolina’s public education system describe the halcyon days of the late 20th Century under the leadership of former Gov. Jim Hunt and Democratic legislators like former House Speaker Dan Blue and former Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight.

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Education News Top Story

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.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC Board of Governors undermined in UNC System move to Raleigh, conservative members say

After six years on the UNC Board of Governors, Leo Daughtry is being moved to the North Carolina State Board of Transportation. It wasn’t a move he requested, Daughtry told Policy Watch last week. But the change, part of a political appointments bill passed at the end of the legislative session, was probably inevitable after Daughtry said aloud something a number of board members privately say they also believe: the plan to move the UNC System offices to downtown Raleigh is expensive, ill-considered and motivated primarily by politics.

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Education News Top Story

COVID cautions land NC family with truancy charge

Stanly County mom defends decision to temporarily homeschool son during spikes in the pandemic In January, when the COVID positivity rate climbed to nearly 40% in Stanly County, northeast of Charlotte, Morgan Perez made the tough call to keep her son Jaxon home from school.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Yes, let’s do talk about ‘rights’ in public education

American politicians have a fondness for bestowing grandiloquent titles on the legislation they sponsor. It’s not enough to describe merely and accurately what a bill does; there needs to be a catchy acronym or inspiring and propagandizing headline built in that will make the bill harder to vote against. Remember the U.S.A. Patriot Act (which stood for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”)?

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Top Story

Freedom of speech is under attack in public schools, U.S. House panel told

Students and teachers told U.S. House members during a Thursday hearing that their right to talk about race and LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is being silenced due to an onslaught of new state laws as well as pressure on school boards from right-wing advocates. “To be crystal clear, this is about disrupting and destroying public education,” James Whitfield, a former principal in Texas and one of the witnesses, told lawmakers.

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Defending Democracy Education News Top Story

Durham GOP’s “Better Board, Better Schools” candidate slate is soundly defeated

Five Republicans vying to win control of Durham’s progressive school board were soundly defeated in Tuesday’s election. Four of the five finished last in their respective races. Durham’s progressive incumbents – Natalie Beyer, Matt Sears and Bettina Umstead – won three of the five seats up grabs.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The last best chance for North Carolina’s public schools

A few years ago, I reserved a room at the North Carolina Association of Educators Building in Raleigh for a large public luncheon. When our team arrived a half hour before the event to get set up, however, we encountered a troubling surprise. To our alarm, we discovered that there had been a scheduling mix-up and the large room in question was occupied by a sizable assemblage of teachers who were in town for some kind of training session. Tables, chairs, and materials were scattered across the room. What to do?

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look charter schools in North Carolina

Few issues spark debate in North Carolina’s education circles like charter schools. Save for school vouchers and the state’s long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit, few topics that stir a higher level of passion. Supporters, many of whom are conservative voters, see charters as "school choice" options that help families looking to flee low-performing schools.

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