Where In The World Is June Atkinson?

State budget negotiations that include items dealing with NC education are looming.

Bill Gates’s Common Core taking heavy fire.

Two bills in the NC General Assembly to replace Common Core.

Teachers protesting about their pay, upset with working conditions, struggling with the Common Core and dealing with end of year tests.

The media hasn’t been getting their sound bites from NC State Superintendent and CCSSO President Elect Dr. June Atkinson. So where in the world is she at during this important set of issues?

She’s in India. 

Vanessa Jeter at DPI responded to my request for information about this trip:

Superintendent Atkinson and SBE member Rebecca Taylor are in Maharashtra, India, this week with the Center for International Understanding (CIU) to build high-level relationships between DPI and Indian education leaders. The program is funded by a grant to CIU from the U.S. State Department. This week’s meetings in India are part of a project called U.S.-India Partnership for Real Communication. Through the grant CIU is establishing international school partnerships between N.C. schools and schools in Maharashtra  so that students can gain global competencies such as learning across cultures and working on multi-national teams.

N.C. and Indian students have been jointly studying the topic of poverty this year with lectures and videos and online conversations.

Recently adopted SBE Global Education Plan calls for just this kind of relationship between DPI and countries of strategic importance and supports international school partnerships.

I have the itinerary coming to me shortly, so I’ll forward that to you. 

Thanks,

Vanessa Jeter

The itinerary can be viewed here.

The Center for International Understanding (CIU) at the University of Chapel Hill has sent Dr. Atkinson to India on their dime. What a fabulous place to visit to get away to with all expenses paid, no?

CIU is part of the University of Chapel Hill. Does that mean this trip was on the taxpayer dime? The optics of that at a time when teachers are protesting would be horrifying, but no, CIU’s travel funding comes from private sources:

Funding
Grants, program fees, and donations account for the majority of CIU’s funding. Less than one-third of our income comes from a State appropriation through the University of North Carolina system. No public dollars are used to pay for any travel expenses related to the Center for International Understanding’s global study programs.  Funding for these programs comes from donations, grants and program fees.

Their corporate partners include SAS and Ann Goodnight is on the board. Not surprising, they’ve got their hands in everything education in NC just like Bill Gates does on a national level. SAS likely gets a lot of its employees from abroad as well. Makes sense to mine early by looking at education hooks.

This outfit is all about Global leaders, Global education, Global this and that. CIU was founded by NC’s forgotten parent of Common Core, the James B. Hunt Institute back in 1979. According to the NC Secretary of State, CIU was incorporated in 1991, had a name change from Citizens for International Understanding to the The North Carolina Center For International Understanding Council in 2001, and an address change in 2013.

CIU is also a 501(c)3; EIN 561751280.  Review their latest IRS 990 filings here. The most recent one, filed in March 2014, has a line item in Section three on page three that describes a trip to India taken last July for “K-12 Outreach”.

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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