Education policy involves a wide range of interconnected issues such as financing and facilities, accountability and assessment, technology and teachers, and so on. In order to make well-informed and evidence-based decisions, policymakers face the challenge of studying a myriad of complicated educational issues, which is no easy feat. To that end, the Public School Forum has created the North Carolina Education Primer, a fact-based introduction to educational policymaking in North Carolina.

The Education Primer does not pretend to be exhaustive; rather, it is an introduction to the many aspects of the state’s public school system and the policy issues we face today. It is intended to be a resource for elected and appointed officials, as well as candidates for public office, as they aim to tackle these policy issues in the General Assembly, their local communities, or in their schools.

Below are downloadable PDFs for each topic in our 2018 Policymaker’s Education Primer.  For additional information or questions regarding the Primer, please contact Lauren Bock, Director of Policy and Programs at

2018 North Carolina Policymaker’s Educational Primer

Table of Contents

Students Demographics

Students Performance

State and Local Role in Education

Federal Role in Education


School Choice

School Finance

School Facilities


Standards and Curriculum

Technology and Digital Learning

School Calendar

School Safety

Early Education

Whole Child

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