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The Friday Report

June 29, 2018

Forum News

This Week on Education Matters: Newsmakers & Newsbreakers

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Education has been a mainstay in the headlines in recent years here in North Carolina. This week we talk to one of the education newsmakers, Judge Bob Orr. He’s a former NC Supreme Court Justice who recently represented the State Board of Education in its lawsuit over a law passed by the General Assembly shifting much of the Board’s powers to State Superintendent Mark Johnson. We also talk to two journalists who work hard every week covering the rapidly changing news in policy and education.

Guests:

  • Bob Orr, Former NC Supreme Court Justice (pictured above)
  • Colin Campbell, Editor, NC Insider (pictured below, left)
  • Liz Schlemmer, Education Reporter, WUNC Radio (pictured below, right)

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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Note: Education Matters will be preempted on FOX 50 this Sunday due to network programming, but will be broadcast on WRAL-TV and UNC-TV as normally scheduled.

Saturday at 7:30 PM,

WRAL-TV (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, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Play Music.

Another Embezzlement Scandal Rocks Private Voucher School

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Tiffany Walker.

By Lindsay Wagner

As taxpayer dollars continue to flow to private schools through a state voucher program that does not include meaningful financial oversight, another North Carolina private voucher school is caught up in an embezzlement scandal.

The former headmaster at Rutherfordton’s Trinity Christian School, Tiffany Walker, was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on 137 counts of embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretenses while serving in her official capacity at the school.’

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Wagner, L. “Another embezzlement scandal rocks private voucher school.” Public School Forum of NC. 6/27/18.

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Everyone is hoping that today will be the last day of the 2018 Short Session. This week has been replete with veto overrides and constitutional amendment referenda at the NC General Assembly. The biggest legislative news of the week involving future education spending is the legislature passing an amended SB 75 Constitutional Amendment – Maximum Income Tax Rate of 7.0%. This measure will now go on the state ballot this November for voters to decide whether to reduce the income tax cap from 10% (current cap) to 7% in NC’s state constitution. The other big education news was Thursday’s joint session that rejected some, but reappointed another, nominee(s) by the Governor for the State Board of Education (SBE). These big ticket items are addressed in news articles in this Friday Report.
The other education-related bills this week that have now become law, either by the Governor signing them or by the General Assembly overriding a veto, are as follows:

HB 374 Regulatory Reform Act of 2018

  • Section 25 exempts charter schools’ personal property from property taxes.
  • Section 27 requires the SBE to repeal certain policies inconsistent with the June 8, 2018 NC Supreme Court decision, SBE v. State of NC and Mark Johnson.

HB 670 Protect Educational Property

  • Increases the criminal penalty for communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property and places of religious worship.

HB 986 Various Changes to Education Laws

  • State Superintendent will develop a school mental health training program and suicide risk referral protocol by October 15, 2018. Repeals SBE’s School-Based Mental Health Initiative policy.
  • Creates a new “Renewal School System” in Rowan-Salisbury School System, granting charter-like flexibilities.
  • Requires students scoring level 5 on math end-of-course/grade tests to be enrolled in next advanced math course, unless parents do not consent.
  • Sets additional requirements to the annual March 30 Cursive and Multiplication Report.
  • Requires new January 15, 2019 recommendations from the State Superintendent on reduction of testing not otherwise required by law.

HB 1031 Local Education Funding Dispute Process

  • Reduces the ability to file a lawsuit challenging the sufficiency of local funds allocated by county commissioners to local boards of education.
  • Sets forth a new formula on the required local appropriations from a county to a local board of education’s local current expense fund in the event of an unsuccessful mediation.

SB 335 Budget Technical Corrections

  • Clarifies which school growth scores are to be used for principals’ pay calculations.
  • Transfers Center for Safer Schools directly under the State Superintendent, codifies the Center in statute, and sets forth its responsibilities.
  • Holds the Office of Charter Schools exempt from the DPI agency budget reduction.
  • Reinstates funding for Suicide Prevention Lifeline, DHHS.
  • Enacts many other budget technical corrections.

In This Issue

This Week on Education Matters: Newsmakers & Newsbreakers

Another Embezzlement Scandal Rocks Private Voucher School

Legislative Update

You’ll Be Voting on a ‘Max Tax’ This November

Legislature Prepares to Adjourn, But Not Before Making Some Last Minute Education Moves

Could Keeping the Income Tax Rate from Going Higher Hurt NC’s Public Schools?

By Most Counts, Child Well-Being Is Improving in North Carolina

New Education Organization Brings Jeb Bush to Town

CMS Teachers Don’t Reflect the Diversity of Their Students. This Program Aims to Help.

How Trauma and Stress Affect a Child’s Brain Development

Segregation’s History Repeats Itself in North Carolina’s HB 514

There Is a Movement to Privatize Public Education in America. Here’s How Far It Has Gotten.

Registration Open for 2018 Candidate Education Policy Briefings

Job Opportunity: Senior Director of Policy

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, please fill out the form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/educationmatters.

State News

You’ll Be Voting on a ‘Max Tax’ This November

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Photo Credit: LM Otero, AP.

Your state income tax rate is 5.49 percent, and in November, you’ll get a chance to ensure it won’t rise above 7 percent.

Republican legislators on Thursday approved a measure that could limit the income tax to 7 percent, so long as voters approve a referendum this November to amend the North Carolina Constitution.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Specht, P and Hui, K. “You’ll be voting on a ‘max tax’ this November.” The News & Observer. 6/28/18.

Legislature Prepares to Adjourn, But Not Before Making Some Last Minute Education Moves

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Joint session of the General Assembly to consider Governor Roy Cooper’s nominations to the State Board of Education. Photo Credit: Alex Granados, EducationNC.

The General Assembly is planning to adjourn today, but before they leave lawmakers pushed through a number of proposals that have the potential to reshape education in North Carolina.

The adjournment resolution will suspend the session for now, but lawmakers will return in November after the elections. On November 27, the session will be back on and there are no restrictions on what legislation can be considered.

Before finishing up what was supposed to be its last voting session Thursday night, the House also approved a study of the needs of high-achieving, low-income students.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “Legislature prepares to adjourn, but not before making some last minute education moves. ” EducationNC. 6/28/18.

Could Keeping the Income Tax Rate from Going Higher Hurt NC’s Public Schools?

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Photo Credit: Kyo Azuma, Unsplash.

North Carolina voters could get a chance to limit how much their state income taxes will rise — a change that education groups warn could have devastating consequences on the state’s public schools.

State legislators are considering this week putting on the November ballot an amendment to change the state’s constitution to cap the income tax rate at 5.5 percent, which is about the current rate. Supporters say the cap will protect taxpayers, while opponents say it will limit the state’s ability to adequately fund public education and other important public services.

“A typical voter is going to just read it and say, ‘I want my taxes low,’ and not understand the long-term impact of tying the hands of future legislatures,” said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “It could be devastating. Our schools are underfunded, and this will lock it in permanently by making it part of the state constitution. Any future legislature would have to amend the Constitution to make any fundamental change.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “Could keeping the income tax rate from going higher hurt NC’s public schools?” The News & Observer. 6/26/18.

By Most Counts, Child Well-Being Is Improving in North Carolina

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Image Credit: NC Child.

A new report on the well-being of children found improvements across many measures for kids in North Carolina. The 2018 Kids County Data Book ranks North Carolina 32nd in overall child well-being in comparison to other states, with the state rising one place in the rankings in each of the past three years. The latest report found that there were fewer children in poverty, higher graduation rates and fewer teens giving birth in the state in 2016 as compared to 2010.

Those measures showed some of the highest gains across 16 indicators of childhood well-being, but the most consistent area of improvement was economic well-being. The percentage of children in the state whose parents lack secure employment or affordable housing dropped, as did the number of teens who are neither in school nor working.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Schlemmer, L. “By Most Counts, Child Well-Being Is Improving In North Carolina.” WUNC. 6/27/18.

New Education Organization Brings Jeb Bush to Town

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Former Florida Governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush, left, answered questions from Superintendent Mark Johnson, right, at the City Club in Raleigh Tuesday. Photo Credit: Alex Granados, EducationNC.

Grow Great NC, Inc., a new group focused on education reform, kicked off its first official day as an organization yesterday by bringing former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush to town. Bush took part in a question and answer session with state Superintendent Mark Johnson at the City Club in downtown Raleigh, and spent much of the time highlighting his state’s educational achievements and congratulating North Carolina leaders on taking Florida’s lead.

“There are 50 state Senate presidents in the country,” Bush said to Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, after the senator introduced him. “I can’t think of one who has done more for education reform than you.”

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Granados, A. “New education organization brings Jeb Bush to town.” EducationNC. 6/27/18.

CMS Teachers Don’t Reflect the Diversity of Their Students. This Program Aims to Help.

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Ashley Park science teacher Samantha Caen (standing) rests her hands on Dianne Klay’s shoulders during the STEAM Saturday class she leads for high-scoring students. Photo Credit: Diedra Laird, The Charlotte Observer.

Principal Jamie Brooks used to see teachers send students to her office, sometimes for little things. Writing referrals was often the first move.

Now, things have changed at Community House Middle School. Teachers engage students in conversations, asking questions about the student’s life or even talking to family members, rather than jumping to disciplinary action.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Asmelash, L. “CMS teachers don’t reflect the diversity of their students. This program aims to help.” The Charlotte Observer. 6/19/18.

National News

How Trauma and Stress Affect a Child’s Brain Development

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Photo Credit: Pixabay, Pexels.

Pediatricians and child development experts are concerned about the long-term effects that the Trump Administration’s family separation policy could have on migrant children who are separated from their parents. This separation can cause “toxic stress” that impedes the brain’s development, which could lead to long-term mental health and physical health issues.

Research shows that when children are exposed to negative experiences like neglect, mental illness in the household, trauma or abuse at a young age, the brain’s ability to build circuits that allow different regions of the brain to communicate and process information can be impeded. If those circuits are weak, the development of executive function needed to regulate behavioral control, impulse control, which allow children to focus and follow directions, can be hindered.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Mader, J. “How trauma and stress affect a child’s brain development.” The Hechinger Report.  6/22/18.

Segregation’s History Repeats Itself in North Carolina’s HB 514

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Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Americans would like to believe that the long arc of history bends towards justice, but currently in the school system of Charlotte, North Carolina, history seems to look more like a pendulum.

In the aftermath of Brown v. Board (1954), voters in North Carolina pushed through the Pearsall Plan, which allowed districts to shut down desegregated schools and offer state-funded vouchers to allow white students to attend private, still-segregated institutions. Fifteen years later, a U.S. District Court struck down that plan in Godwin v. Johnson County Board of Education. A couple of years later, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the U.S. Supreme Court found that busing was a constitutionally appropriate remedy for school segregation, leading to decades of intentional school integration efforts that transformed the Charlotte school district into one of the most integrated in the nation. Researchers found that the plan improved academic achievement considerably.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Quick, K. “Segregation’s History Repeats Itself in North Carolina’s HB 514.” The Century Foundation. 6/26/18.

There Is a Movement to Privatize Public Education in America. Here’s How Far It Has Gotten.

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. Photo Credit: iStock.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says her mission is to expand alternatives to traditional public schools — and a new report assesses how far she and her allies across the country have succeeded in the movement to privatize public education.

The report — issued by the Schott Foundation for Public Education and the Network for Public Education, two nonprofits that advocate for public schools — gives five states an “A+” or “A” in regard to their commitment to supporting public schools. They are Nebraska, North Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky and South Dakota. The states with the lowest overall grades are Arizona, Florida and Georgia.

Opportunities

Registration Open for 2018 Candidate Education Policy 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 Candidate Education Policy 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 12:00 pm.
  • 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: 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.

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.

EPFP Application information can be found online at https://www.ncforum.org/education-policy-fellowship-program/Applications are due by July 15, 2018. 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 will host four Regional Convenings in various locations across the state. Each of the convenings will be held at Community Colleges that offer School-Age Career Certificates or Degree Programs. Specific dates, host community colleges and STEM Enrichment Experts are as follows:

July 10: Edgecombe Community College [Tarboro, NC]
Dropping Seeds in Motion

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July 12: Durham Technical Community College [Durham, NC]
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

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July 17: Blue Ridge Community College [Flat Rock, NC]
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute [PARI]

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July 18: Central Piedmont Community College [Charlotte, NC]
365 Weird & Wonderful Science Experiments [Elizabeth Snoke Harris]

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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. Lunch will be provided at each convening and attendees can register free of charge.

The agenda for each of the Regional Convenings will be as follows:

8:30 am: Registration/Coffee
9 am: Welcome/Roadmap of Need Dialogue
11 am: Lunch
11:30 am: STEM Enrichment
12:30 pm: Adjournment

Click here to register. Space is limited so secure your spot by registering today! The deadline to register is 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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