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The Friday Report

February 15, 2019

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Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: Exploring Rural-Urban North Carolina

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According to the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State, people in North Carolina are feeling more disconnected than ever and they want to do something about it. So IEI launched a three-year initiative called ReCONNECT NC and this week hundreds of people convened in Raleigh to focus on reconnection between rural and urban areas. The Institute’s Director Leslie Boney joins us talk about the challenges and what they’ve learned so far. We also talk to Wake County School Board Member Keith Sutton who makes some news with an announcement on the show.

Guests:

  • Leslie Boney, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues, NC State (pictured above)
  • Keith Sutton, Wake County School Board (pictured below)
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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Saturday at 7:30 PM, WRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 8:00 AM, FOX 50 (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 6:30 AM and Wednesday at 9:30 AM, UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel (Statewide)

The North Carolina Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum Channel 1276 or check your local listings and other providers here.

Online at www.ncforum.org.

Education Matters is also available as a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Play Music.

State News

NC Voucher Fund Leaves Millions Unspent While Growing by $10 Million a Year

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Chidarrell Palmer-Glaze of Charlotte, NC receives Opportunity Scholarship for two sons to attend Male Leadership Academy. Photo Credit: Justine Miller, The Charlotte Observer.

State lawmakers keep adding money for North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program, which sends low-income kids to private schools, even though there aren’t enough takers to spend the money it already has.

With millions going unspent each year, the state budget approved in 2017 guarantees the voucher program will get a $10 million bump each year for the next decade.

That needs to stop, a key Republican lawmaker says.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Doss Helms, A. “NC voucher fund leaves millions unspent while growing by $10 million a year.” The Charlotte Observer. 2/11/19.

Senate School Construction Plan Clears First Hurdle

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Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 13, 2019. Photo Credit: Alex Granados, EducationNC.

A Senate plan to fund school construction and repair cleared the chamber’s appropriations committee meeting today, but only after some Democratic lawmakers questioned whether the proposal is really better than a House plan to put a school construction bond bill on the ballot.

“What guarantees can be made for these dollars going forward?” asked Senate Democratic Whip Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, of Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “Senate school construction plan clears first hurdle.'” EducationNC. 2/13/19.

Big is Best for School Districts

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The Wake County school system wants students to document the history of the district’s historically segregated black schools. The Voices of Washington project done by students at Washington Elementary School in Raleigh is highlighted as an example. Photo Credit: Wake County Public Schools.

A new debate is arising in the conversation about improving North Carolina’s public schools – should large school districts be broken up into smaller ones? As we consider this question, we should keep two likely consequences of such a move in mind: one, that with smaller districts, children of the same race likely will be concentrated in those districts and, two, that a disproportionate share of resources will flow into the whiter and wealthier of those new districts.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Wettach, J. and Thomas, G. “Big is best for school districts.” The News & Observer. 2/8/19.

School Calendars Could Get More Flexibility Under Recent Legislation Filed in NC General Assembly

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

Momentum appears to be building toward giving public school systems in North Carolina more flexibility in setting their school years with the introduction of a public bill Wednesday in the N.C. General Assembly in Raleigh.

House Bill 79, submitted by four Republican legislators, would provide school systems statewide with the ability to align their calendars with a local community college, starting with the 2019-20 school year.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Craver, R. “‘School calendars could get more flexibility under recent legislation filed in N.C. General Assembly.” Winston-Salem Journal. 2/13/19.

NC Superintendent Announces Leadership Changes at State Education Agency

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State Superintendent Mark Johnson. Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson has announced several leadership changes at the Department of Public Instruction, including the state’s first director of computer science and technology education.

Mary Hemphill, who is currently principal of Carver Middle School in Scotland County, will begin that role in April. The new position was created to emphasize the importance of coding and computer careers, according to the superintendent.

To continue reading the complete press release, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. “NC superintendent announces leadership changes at state education agency.” WRAL. 2/11/19.

New For-Profit Charter Schools Could Be Coming to Wake. Board Recommends 3 More.

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Photo Credit: Photo by NeONBRAND, Unsplash.

Three new charter schools in Wake County that would be managed by for-profit companies have been recommended for state approval to open in 2020.

The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board gave its support Tuesday to Wendell Falls Charter Academy and North Raleigh Charter Academy, which would both be managed by Florida-based Charter Schools USA. The vote was split 6-4 on North Raleigh Charter amid concerns that Charter Schools USA has had problems in the past opening schools that have won state approval.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “New for-profit charter schools could be coming to Wake. Board recommends 3 more.”The News & Observer. 2/12/19.

A Private School Will Become One of NC’s Newest Charter Schools

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

Three more charter schools have been approved to open this fall, including a private school that will make the conversion to becoming a public school after having survived the past few years with the help of North Carolina’s voucher program.

The State Board of Education unanimously gave approval Thursday to TeamCFA-Community Public Charter in Gaston County, Hobgood Charter Academy in Halifax County and Pocosin Innovative Charter in Washington County. The approval for Hobgood marks the second time in the past two years that state leaders have allowed a private school to become a charter school.

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Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “A private school will become one of North Carolina’s newest charter schools.” The News & Observer. 2/8/19.

Teacher Shortage Plagues Schools

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Tim Finn, an eighth-grade science teacher, left, helps student Johnathan Cowart with note taking Thursday at Southern Nash Middle School in Spring Hope. Photo Credit: Sarah Louya, Rocky Mount Telegram.

As some parents in the Nash-Rocky Mount school district struggle to understand why their students are being taught by a string of substitutes in some classrooms rather than by permanent teachers, district leaders led a discussion about the difficulty of obtaining teachers during a recent Parent Advisory Committee meeting in Nashville.

Donita Privott, executive director of human resources for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, led the discussion about the teacher shortage in the school district.

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Excerpt from:

Harper, A. “Teacher shortage plagues schools.” Rocky Mount Telegram. 2/13/19.

National News

At House Education Hearing, Lawmakers Differ Sharply on Why Teachers Are Underpaid

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Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., the 2016 National Teacher of the Year who was elected to Congress last year, attends a House education committee hearing on school funding and teacher pay. Photo Credit: Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week.

At the first House education committee hearing on K-12 schools this Congress, Democrats in control of the committee pushed Tuesday for more resources from the federal government to raise teacher pay and repair schools. But Republicans said that education spending increases have failed to adequately address these issues or to help students academically.

Democrats took control of the House in the November midterms for the first time since 2011, and Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., now the committee chairman, chose to highlight “underpaid teachers and crumbling schools” in his first hearing. He and other Democrats, as well as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and two other witnesses, argued that a variety of crises in public schools, from broken heating systems and pervasive mold to teachers forced to take second jobs, called for a greater federal investment in buildings and educators.

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Excerpt from:

Ujifusa, A. “At House Education Hearing, Lawmakers Differ Sharply on Why Teachers Are Underpaid.” Education Week. 2/12/19.

Lessons From Parkland: 6 Big Things We’ve Learned About Student Safety, School Security, and Resilience Since the Tragic 2018 Massacre

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Photo Credit: John Lamparski, WireImage.

Valentine’s Day is typically a celebration of love, but the holiday in 2018 will go down in history as a moment of hate, national mourning — and resilience.

That afternoon in Parkland, Florida, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, killing 14 students and three adults. Like other mass school shootings — from Columbine to Sandy Hook — the tragedy had immediate ramifications. Locally, leaders came under fierce criticism for a slow police response and the school’s inability to keep the suspected gunman off campus. Nationally, politicians and school leaders faced mounting pressure to quickly adopt laws designed to thwart the next tragedy.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Keierleber, E. “Lessons From Parkland: 6 Big Things We’ve Learned About Student Safety, School Security, and Resilience Since the Tragic 2018 Massacre.” The 74. 2/13/19.

Opportunities

AttendaNCe Counts! Survey

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We all want our young children to succeed in school, and attending every day can help make that happen. Reach NC Voices is partnering with the NC Early Childhood Foundation to learn from NC elementary school teachers and staff and parents of NC elementary school children how your school encourages regular school attendance.

Please take this short survey to tell NCECF about your experience! Results are anonymous, and you do not need to share your school’s name unless you would like to. Survey link: ednc.org/attendance

We know that when young children are chronically absent – missing a couple days of school every month – they are less likely to read on grade level and more likely to be held back a grade. If we learn more about how elementary schools handle chronic absenteeism, we can determine what supports all schools may need to improve regular attendance.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Accepting Applications for Student STEM Enrichment Program

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened its application for the 2019 Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards. SSEP supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF’s home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. The application deadline is April 16, 2019.

For more information or to access the application, visit

https://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/student-science-enrichment-program.

Synergy Conference 2019

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The Synergy Conference 2019 for afterschool professionals will convene April 24-25, 2019 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. This year’s conference is themed “DOING THE M.O.S.T.: MAXIMIZING OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME”. The conference timeline can be viewed here.

Early Registration is now open for the annual SYNERGY CONFERENCE! You can register here by February 10th for the discounted rate of $200. Regular registration will begin on February 11th at the regular rate of $225.

We are excited to announce that Mentoring has been added as a new workshop strand. Workshop strands include Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Mentoring, Organizational Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, S.T.E.M., and Youth Development.

Keynote Speaker Spotlight

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Byron V. Garrett will be this year’s lunch and award ceremony keynote speaker. One of the most compelling voices of our time, Byron V. Garrett is Chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance (NFEA); a nonprofit dedicated to transforming education through meaningful family engagement. Byron is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of The Valdecio Collection, a lifestyle brand consisting of clothing, watches and fragrances. The former Director of Educational Leadership & Policy for Microsoft, Byron is a consulting author for Scholastic and released the Byron V. Garrett Social Emotional Learning Collection in 2017 to foster social and emotional learning in today’s classrooms.

To learn more, please visit: ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2019/

FAST NC Fundraising Drive to Aid Public Schools

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Florence Aid to Students and Teachers of North Carolina – FAST NC – is an effort led by a bipartisan group of current and former North Carolina education leaders to help the state’s public schools as students and educators struggle to return to normal following Hurricane Florence and its impact.

To learn more about FAST NC and how to donate, click here.

The Friday Report is published weekly by the Public School Forum of NC and is distributed to Forum members, policymakers, donors, media, and Forum subscribers. Archived editions can be found at www.ncforum.org.

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