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The Friday Report

June 22, 2018

Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: Tax Cap Amendment and Education

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The General Assembly is considering a Constitutional amendment to permanently cap income tax rates in North Carolina. If approved, it would appear on the November ballot along with other Constitutional amendments being proposed this week. With education making up more than half of the state budget, what impact could this amendment have on the state’s ability to fund public schools, community colleges and universities?

Guests:

  • Vicki Lee Parker, Executive Director, North Carolina Business Council (pictured above, left)
  • Kel Landis, Principal, Plexus Capital (pictured above, right)
  • Dr. Patrick McHugh, Economic Analyst, Budget & Tax Center (pictured below, left photo)
  • Richard Bostic, Government Relations, NC School Boards Association (pictured below, right photo)

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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 1277 or check your local listing and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/.

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

The Public School Forum of NC Receives $412,500 from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to Create Trauma-Sensitive Schools in Eastern NC

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The Public School Forum of North Carolina is pleased to announce that it has received a grant to support the Forum’s NC Resilience and Learning Project from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The NC Resilience and Learning Project works to improve the lives of local residents by creating safer and more supportive learning environments for students in local school systems, especially where trauma is prevalent in their student populations. The NC Resilience and Learning Project is a whole school, whole child framework to create trauma-sensitive schools that will improve academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes for students.

In addition to $412,500 from the Trust, other funders of the NC Resilience and Learning Project include the ChildTrust Foundation, The Belk Foundation, John M. Belk Endowment, and Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

“Thanks to the generous support of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, we will be able to take what we’ve learned during our pilot year of the NC Resilience and Learning Project and expand this highly successful model into four more districts in eastern North Carolina,” said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “We are extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity and look forward to positively impacting the lives of so many North Carolina children.”

With the support of this grant, the NC Resilience and Learning Project will conduct in-school staff trainings that help educators understand trauma’s impact on learning and how to build student resilience by fostering unifying language and expectations to promote a school-wide cultural shift. Trainings will also address how to recognize the neurobiological foundations of students’ disruptive behaviors, and ongoing coaching and technical assistance will be provided to help school teams create action plans around trauma-sensitive strategy implementation. Positive outcomes that have been achieved from similar models in other states include lower suspension and office referral rates and improving attendance and academic achievement.

###

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of financially-disadvantaged residents in North Carolina. The Health Improvement in North Carolina program area supports community-wide health solutions across the state. The Local Impact in Forsyth County program area fosters equitable and sustainable solutions to improve the quality of life in Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as sole trustee.

To view the full press release, click here.

Forum Executive Director on the Air

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The Public School Forum of NC’s President & Executive Director, Keith Poston on Carolina Business Review.
This week, Public School Forum President and Executive Director Keith Poston appeared on two statewide television programs.
Poston was the featured guest on “First in Future,” a televised podcast of the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University that airs weekly statewide on UNC-TV’s NC Channel. In this podcast, Poston talks about the future of public education in North Carolina and you can watch the episode online at http://www.ncchannel.org/first-in-future-keith-poston/.
Carolina Business Review” is a weekly business and public policy show that airs on PBS stations across NC and SC. Poston was a guest panelist on the latest show that aired this past weekend featuring Clarence Armbrister, President of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. You can watch the episode online at 
https://www.pbs.org/video/carolina-business-review-june-15-2018-kuwgcr/.

In This Issue

This Week on Education Matters: Tax Cap Amendment and Education

The Public School Forum of NC Receives $412,500 from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to Create Trauma-Sensitive Schools in Eastern NC

Forum Executive Director on the Air

Legislative Update

NC Lawmakers Want Voters to Decide on Some Things, But Not Funding for School Buildings

Tax Burden May Shift Under GOP Cap Proposal. These Business Owners Are Worried.

NC Needs School Psychologists, But Legislation to Help Hire More Is Stalled

Proposed Legislation Would End School Funding Lawsuits

After Flip-Flopping, NC Lawmakers Say Town’s Can’t Shift Roadwork Costs to Schools

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Discusses ‘Renewal’ Possibility

Why Wake County Teachers Might Get Smaller Raises and Students Might Pay More for Parking

Loose Laws Let Scores of Charters Create Policies That Favor White Students

Trump Officially Proposes Merging U.S. Departments of Education, Labor

To Make Ends Meet, 1 in 5 Teachers Have Second Jobs

Job Opportunity: Public School Forum Senior Director of Policy

Registration Open for 2018 Candidate Education Briefings

Job Opportunity: NC Resilience and Learning Project Program Coordinators

Applications Open for 2018-19 NC Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

NC CAP 2018 Policy and Practice Regional Convenings

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate a Leader for Children in Your Community

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Do you know a leader in your community supporting our schools and making a difference in the lives of children both in and out of school? The Public School Forum is seeking nominations for individuals to be highlighted on our weekly statewide TV show, Education Matters. Click here for an example of a recent spotlight.

Nominees could be principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, business leaders, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and the list goes on!

To nominate someone, click here.

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On Wednesday, June 20, the House Rules Committee passed Senate Bill 75 Constitutional Amendment – Maximum Income Tax Rate of 5.5%, and the bill was poised to be taken up for a vote on the House floor this week – but that did not happen. With the Senate having passed SB 75 bill in 2017, it is now the House’s turn to take action on the bill.  
SB 75 is the sole subject of Education Matters this weekend – right on time for the final countdown of these waning days of the 2018 Short Session. What does SB 75 propose?  If passed, it would set forth the following question to NC voters during the statewide general election held this November:
“[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST
Reduce the income tax rate in North Carolina to a maximum allowable rate of five and one-half percent (5.5%).”
If NC voters then approve this constitutional amendment in November, the tax on both personal and corporate incomes for taxable years beginning on January 1, 2019, would be capped at 5.5% under Section 2 of Article V of the NC Constitution. Our state constitution currently caps the NC income tax rate at 10%. Reducing the cap to 5.5% is clearly a significant reduction.  As one of the Senate bill sponsors explained in Committee this week, this new proposed cap just “splits the difference” – attempting to show how very reasonable this new number is.  However, critics of this measure find it anything but reasonable.
Wednesday’s Committee discussion and approval of the bill involved the following arguments on this constitutional amendment:
Against
  • It ties the hands of future legislatures, especially when the next recession hits where all potential levers of generating state revenues should remain available.
  • With the needs in public education and health as great as they are, why should NC lower the cap on income tax so significantly (from 10% to 5.5%) when it is not necessary – there is no compelling need that mandates the state to lower the cap.
  • North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that has a AAA bond rating. NC’s excellent bond rating could be compromised, especially since this amendment has no safety valves: it is an absolute cap with no exceptions. Bond experts may look upon this cap differently if it contained language that allowed the legislature to raise the cap in dire circumstances or at least revisit the cap in emergencies, but this constitutional amendment has no such safety valve.
  • If NC wants to lower the income tax cap, do it through statute (an easier measure for the legislature to change) rather than this more permanent change to our state constitution.
  • There will be unintended consequences if NC’s income tax is capped at 5.5%; other taxes, such as real estate taxes and tax burdens at the local level, may need to be increased. This bill could result in other taxes getting increased.
  • NC may need to exceed a 5.5% corporate tax rate: in the 1990s, our corporate tax rate reached 7.75%.
  • Many NC business leaders are becoming concerned about the corporate tax rate lowering to 2.5% in 2019, as this is adversely affecting available spending on important public education and health needs in the state.
For
  • The Chicken Little arguments of “the sky is falling” are unfounded.
  • NC needs to hold the course on its fiscal discipline and this 5.5% cap would do that.
  • Future “tax and spend” progressive policies should be stifled; we need to maintain guaranteed low income tax rates.
  • This is not the General Assembly imposing a cap, it is going to the voters of NC to make the decision.
  • Businesses need stability in a lower corporate tax rate in order for the economy to continue growing.
  • In NC’s current economic climate, our AAA bond rating is not likely to be affected by this proposed cap.
  • During any future recession, NC can still turn to increasing the sales tax, excise taxes (alcohol/tobacco, etc.), or other taxes and fees to generate revenue.

The Public School Forum believes our public schools are already underfunded, particularly in rural communities – SB 75 would ensure they stay that way. The Forum does not support efforts to arbitrarily and unnecessarily cap tax rates that could jeopardize education funding and tie our state’s hands to meet future needs.

In order for either Chamber of the General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment, a 3/5 majority is required.  In the House, that is a minimum of 72 votes. That vote is now set to happen (or not) next week. Significantly, there are Republicans who oppose this constitutional amendment. The Democrats are seemingly unified in their opposition. Unlike other bills, the Governor does not get to sign or veto constitutional amendments. At this point, this is all in the hands of the NC House. 

State News

NC Lawmakers Want Voters to Decide on Some Things, But Not Funding for School Buildings

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

North Carolina residents are likely to vote this fall on amendments to change the state constitution, but they won’t get a chance to decide on funding for school construction.

Calls for a $1.9 billion statewide school construction bond referendum were among the demands made by the 19,000 teachers who marched in Raleigh in May. Advocates for the school bond say the state needs to step up because aging schools are crumbling around North Carolina and some communities are too poor to pay for their school needs.

But instead of a school bond, legislators are debating what constitutional amendments to put on the fall ballot before they leave Raleigh next week. Proposed amendments cover such topics as requiring voters to show ID, capping the state’s income tax rate, ensuring crime victims’ rights and guaranteeing the right to hunt and fish.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “NC lawmakers want voters to decide on some things, but not funding for school buildings.” The News & Observer. 6/21/18.

Tax Burden May Shift Under GOP Cap Proposal. These Business Owners Are Worried.

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A copy of an IRS 1040 tax form is seen at an H&R Block office on the day President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax cut bill in Washington, DC on December 22, 2017, in Miami, Florida. Photo Credit: Joe Raedle, Getty Images.

The North Carolina legislature, in a Donald Trumpish mood of economic populism, is considering a constitutional amendment to place a new cap on state income taxes.

Similar moves have been carried out in California with Proposition 13 limiting property taxes in 1978 led by Howard Jarvis and in Colorado in 1992 with the passage of taxing and spending limits led by Douglas Bruce.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Christensen, R. “Tax burden may shift under GOP cap proposal. These business owners are worried.” The News & Observer. 6/20/18.

NC Needs School Psychologists, But Legislation to Help Hire More Is Stalled

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Photo Credit: Brian Batista, WUNC. 

Lawmakers focused on improving school safety for months have planned to address a significant shortage of school psychologists, but none of the related bills filed by legislators look like they are going anywhere during this legislative session.

“Everyone says we need more school psychologists in our schools for counseling, [to] keep our kids safe, all those good things,” said Representative Josh Dobson, who served on the House Select Committee on School Safety.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Schlemmer, L. “NC Needs School Psychologists, But Legislation To Help Hire More Is Stalled.” WUNC. 6/19/18.

Proposed Legislation Would End School Funding Lawsuits

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

The North Carolina General Assembly is poised to finally send a piece of legislation to the Governor for his signature that would prevent a board of education filing a lawsuit against their county commissioners in cases where they can’t come to an agreement on local funding for public education. Previous attempts to adopt such legislation have failed over the years.

This past Friday (June 15), the North Carolina Senate voted to support a bill approved by the NC House of Representatives that would halt any future lawsuits stemming from local funding disagreements lodged by county school boards.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Bryant, C. “Proposed legislation would end school funding lawsuits.” The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. 6/19/18.

After Flip-Flopping, NC Lawmakers Say Town’s Can’t Shift Roadwork Costs to Schools

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Workers use lifts to work on various areas at Oakview Elementary School in 2015 in Holly Springs.

Photo Credit: The News & Observer.

North Carolina cities won’t be able to shift the cost of millions of dollars of road improvements on to school districts, after state legislators flip-flopped three times on the issue in a less than a three-week period.

Between Memorial Day and Friday, state legislators approved three separate bills that included conflicting wording on whether towns could make approval of school projects contingent upon them not having to reimburse schools for road improvements.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “After flip-flopping, NC lawmakers say towns can’t shift roadwork costs to schools.” The News & Observer. 6/18/18.

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Discusses ‘Renewal’ Possibility

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North Rowan Middle students play with elementary schoolers at Hanford Dole Elementary School. 

Photo Credit: Salisbury Post.

On Monday, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education rolled back a little bit of the mystery about what it might mean to be a “renewal school district.”

Last Thursday, the N.C. General Assembly passed a bill that would allow Rowan-Salisbury Schools to adopt a charter-like flexibility. RSS is the only district in the state to be offered this opportunity and will serve as a pilot program for the state.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Rider, R. “Rowan-Salisbury Board of education discusses ‘renewal’ possibility.” Salisbury Post. 6/19/18.

Why Wake County Teachers Might Get Smaller Raises and Students Might Pay More for Parking

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Heritage High School head basketball coach Tilden Brill III congratulates Redford Dunton (5) during a timeout. The Wake County school system might put on hold $1.4 million in extra-duty pay raises to help close a $25.5 million budget gap. Photo Credit: Steven Worthy, The News & Observer.

The Wake County school system might close a $25 million budget gap by making high school students pay more to park at school and reducing teacher raises.

School administrators laid out Tuesday a list of potential cuts for the school board to choose from to help balance the budget. School leaders say there’s no way to close the deficit without making cuts that will reduce services in North Carolina’s largest school district.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Why Wake County teachers might get smaller raises and students might pay more for parking.” The News & Observer. 6/19/18.

National News

Loose Laws Let Scores of Charters Create Policies That Favor White Students

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Lake Oconee Academy was the brainchild of the Reynolds Lake Oconee real estate company.

Photo Credit: Terrell Clark, The Hechinger Report.

Greensboro, Ga. — This was clearly no ordinary public school.

Parents of prospective students converged on Lake Oconee Academy for an open house on a bright but unseasonably cold March afternoon for northern Georgia. A driveway circling a landscaped pond led them to the school’s main hall. The tan building had the same luxury-lodge feel as the nearby Ritz-Carlton resort. Parents oohed and aahed as Jody Worth, the upper school director, ushered them through the campus. Nestled among gated communities, golf courses and country clubs, the school felt like an oasis of opportunity in a county of haves and have-nots, where nearly half of all children live in poverty while others live in multimillion-dollar lakeside houses.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Felton, E. “Nearly 750 charter schools are whiter than the nearby district schools.” The Hechinger Report. 6/17/18.

Trump Officially Proposes Merging U.S.  Departments of Education, Labor

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President Donald Trump wants to combine the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor into a single agency focused on workforce readiness and career development.

But the plan, which was announced during a cabinet meeting Thursday, will need congressional approval. That’s likely to be a tough lift. Similar efforts to scrap the nearly 40-year-old education department or combine it with another agency have fallen flat.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Klein, A and Ujifusa, A. “Trump Officially Proposes Merging U.S. Departments of Education, Labor.” Education Week. 6/21/18.

To Make Ends Meet, 1 in 5 Teachers Have Second Jobs

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Stefanie Lowe, a teacher at Tuscano Elementary School in Phoenix, Ariz., stands next to her car after joining other teachers, parents and students at a “walk-in” for higher pay and school funding last April. Lowe also works as a Lyft driver to supplement her teaching salary. Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin, AP.

Nearly 1 in 5 public school teachers have second jobs during the school year, a new analysis of federal data shows.

Half of teachers with second jobs are working in a field outside of education, while 5 percent of teachers are taking on a second teaching or tutoring job outside of their school districts. And 4 percent of teachers have a job that is not teaching, but is still related to the teaching field.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Will, M. “To Make Ends Meet, 1 in 5 Teachers Have Second Jobs.” Education Week. 6/19/18.

Opportunities

Job Opportunity: Senior Director of Policy

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The Public School Forum of North Carolina is seeking a Senior Director of Policy. This individual will lead education policy analysis and research for the organization to expand and promote the Forum’s role in evidence-based policy decisions that promote world-class public education in North Carolina. This position reports directly to the President and Executive Director.

For more than 30 years, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has worked to shape world-class public schools through research, policy work, programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. We are a nonprofit partnership of leaders from business, education, and government that makes significant contributions to K-12 public education in North Carolina.

In addition to research and analysis in the public policy arena, the Forum has created and run numerous programs, including the original NC Teaching Fellows Program, the Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN), the NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP), the North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), and the NC Institute for Educational Policymakers. In the Fall of 2016, the Forum launched a new weekly television program, Education Matters, which airs on WRAL-TV, FOX 50 and statewide on UNC-TV’s NC Channel.

To learn more about this position, click here. Interested candidates should send a resume, cover letter and salary history to Rhonda van Dijk [email protected] with the subject line “Senior Policy Director”. This position is open until filled.

Registration Open for 2018 Candidate Education Briefings

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All candidates for office and current elected officials in North Carolina are invited to join the Public School Forum for one of four Education Briefings held across the state for a balanced discussion of the background and research on the current education issues facing North Carolina. The Forum’s policy and research staff will present essential information on a variety of important issues, including teacher & administrator compensation, school choice, accountability, school finance, school safety, and student performance. Attendees will be given a copy of the Forum’s newly updated 2018 Education Primer for a quick reference of facts regarding the state’s public school system. 
We have scheduled the briefings on the dates and sites listed below. All briefings will open with a continental breakfast at 8:30 am, with the session beginning at 9:00 am and ending promptly at 12:00pm.
  • August 2, 2018 – GreenvilleHilton Greenville
  • August 7, 2018RaleighNC Museum of Natural Sciences
  • August 17, 2018 – Asheville – Hilton Garden Inn Asheville
  • August 21, 2018 – Charlotte – Levine Museum of the New South
Click here to register by July 31, 2018. Contact Lauren Bock, Director of Policy and Programs, at [email protected] with any questions.

Job Opportunity: NC Resilience and Learning Project Program Coordinators

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After studying the impact of childhood trauma (known as adverse childhood experiences or ACEs) on learning and student behavior, the Public School Forum launched the NC Resilience & Learning Project in 2017 to implement whole-school and district-wide strategies to improve the academic performance and social-emotional well-being of students affected by trauma. The model includes school-wide educator training and ongoing coaching and technical assistance.

The Project is expanding in the 2018-2019 school year and we are seeking two additional full-time Program Coordinators to be based in the Tarboro/Rocky Mount and greater Charlotte/Salisbury areas to work directly with partner school districts as they join a growing movement of educators creating trauma-sensitive schools.

To learn more about these positions, click here. Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Elizabeth DeKonty, Project Director, at [email protected] with the title “Program Coordinator” and the region they are applying for in the subject line by June 25, 2018.

Applications Open for 2018-19 NC Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

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The Public School Forum is accepting applications for the 2018-19 cohort of the North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).

The North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program is the only statewide program of its kind that focuses on leadership and professional development in the context of education policy. Fellows come from public schools, higher education, community colleges, and a diverse array of education organizations across North Carolina. Each class includes a cohort of fellows who focus on education policy issues and the wide range of factors that influence education in North Carolina. Fellows will increase their awareness of how public policy is made, learn whom the key players are in the formation of this policy, and become more confident and involved in the policy-making process.

Application information for both EPFP Central and EPFP West can be found online at https://www.ncforum.org/education-policy-fellowship-program/Applications are due by July 15, 2018, for the Central Cohort and June 30, 2018, for the West Cohort. Contact Lauren Bock, Public School Forum Director of Policy & Programs, at [email protected] with questions.

NC CAP 2018 Policy and Practice Regional Convenings

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This July, the NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) will host four Regional Convenings in various locations across the state. Each of the convenings will be held at a Community College that offers School-Age Career Certificates or Degree Programs. Specific dates and host community colleges are as follows:

  • July 10, 2018 – Edgecombe Community College (Tarboro, NC)
  • July 12, 2018 – Durham Tech Community College (Durham, NC)
  • July 17, 2018 – Blue Ridge Community College (Flat Rock, NC)
  • July 18, 2018 – Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC)

Policy & Practice Regional Convenings will provide an opportunity for attendees to engage in meaningful dialogue pertaining to the 2018 Roadmap of Need. The annual Roadmap of Need uses data on economic development, education, health and youth behavior & safety to take a whole child needs assessment of what youth living in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties must have in order to thrive in school and in life.

In addition to dialogue centered on the recently released Roadmap, attendees will be afforded an opportunity to explore a range of STEM-specific strategies through enrichment activities presented by partnering organizations and STEM experts. Details regarding each convening’s STEM spotlight is forthcoming. Lunch will be provided at each convening and attendees can register free of charge. Space is limited so secure your spot by registering today!

To view the agenda, click here. To register for a Policy & Practice Regional Convening, click here. The deadline to register is Sunday, July 8th.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers

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The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Science and Math Teachers (CASMT) application is now available online. The Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers is a five-year award available to outstanding science and/or mathematics teachers in the North Carolina public primary and secondary schools. The purpose of this award is to recognize teachers who have demonstrated solid knowledge of science and/or mathematics content and have outstanding performance records in educating children. The deadline for submission is September 24th, 2018.

For more information or to access the application, visit https://www.bwfund.org/grant-programs/science-education/career-awards-science-and-mathematics-teachers.

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

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Registration is open for the third annual Women in Educational Leadership Symposium (WIELS). The purpose of WIELS is to bring women together to share, learn, and grow in leadership. This conference aims to provide personalized learning and mentoring opportunities for those who aspire to become or currently serve as educational leaders.

The symposium will be held October 5 through October 6, 2018 at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This year’s conference theme is Advancing the Leader Within: Building Capacity.

Registration for the conference is online at https://wiels.appstate.edu/about-us/registration. Additional information can be found at https://wiels.appstate.edu/.

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.

©2018 Public School Forum of North Carolina. All Rights Reserved.

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