The North Carolina General Assembly was on the cutting edge of education reform back in 2001 when it created the state’s Personal Education Plan statute, which requires schools to create individualized learning plans for every student at risk of failing. This means that schools must apply focused intervention and instruction that is specifically designed to help students improve, and they should work with parents so that complementary intervention is happening in the home.
Publication Type: Education Policy Perspectives
Ten years ago, North Carolina officials vowed they would close or significantly narrow the racial achievement gap by the year 2010. Over the next two years, they created the Closing the Achievement Gap section of the Department of Public Instruction, formed a commission, conducted a year-long study, and released several reports that identified the root causes of learning gaps and offered recommendations to eliminate them.
With a state budget shortfall of at least $3.5 billion for fiscal year 2011‐2012, North Carolina’s public school system faces further cuts to an already bare‐bones funding scheme. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, North Carolina ranks 45th in the nation in per‐pupil spending and 43rd in the nation in per‐pupil expenditure as a share of personal income.
Over the past decade, thousands of immigrants have moved to North Carolina to contribute to the state’s economy and culture. However, many of them do not speak English in their homes, and as a result many of their children have struggled in North Carolina’s public schools.
During the debate around the creation of the North Carolina Education Lottery in 2005, critics from across the political spectrum predicted that the state would eventually back off of its promises that lottery funds would be used to enhance rather than replace existing education funds.
Across Wake County, people are eager for the community discord surrounding our public schools to be resolved.
North Carolina legislators have considered a number of proposals to enact voucher-like schemes to transfer public money to private schools in recent years.
The Senate’s budget proposal makes changes to the Opportunity Scholarship voucher program which are expected to cost North Carolina citizens over $170 million over the next five fiscal years. Annual costs will continue to climb in subsequent years.
There is growing political debate regarding ‘fair funding’ of North Carolina charter schools revolving around how local funding is shared between school districts and charter schools. In particular, charter advocates vigorously pushed HB 539 during the 2016 Legislative Session, which would have required school districts to provide charter schools with a greater share of their local funds. The bill did not pass, but similar legislation is likely to be considered in the upcoming legislative session.
Controversy over class-size requirements in early grades has emerged as the biggest issue facing North Carolina’s public schools in the 2017 legislative session.