Some quick hits in North Carolina education news from the end of March include some legislative updates, threats to schools continues to skyrocket, questions on what is the right level of security at schools, and Roy Cooper says he will push for teacher pay to be raised to the national average – which keeps rising each year.
1 – Legislative updates via the NC Department of Public Instruction.
Here are the highlights below:
The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee (PED) members received presentations and discussed the current process for solving local funding disputes between local Boards of Education and Boards of County Commissioners. The Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units heard from two UNC-CH researchers on the current academic literature on the ideal size of LEAs and the potential impact of dividing LEAs.
The State Board of Education will meet next Wednesday and Thursday. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee will convene on Tuesday morning and the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units will hold its final meeting on Wednesday, April 4.
More details are in the full update which can be viewed HERE.
2 – Threats to NC Schools continue to skyrocket and have risen 300% since Parkland.
There has been over a 300 percent increase nationally in school threats reported each school day since 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, according to the Educator’s School Safety Network. North Carolina has seen a sharp increase in threats, leading school board members to urge lawmakers to make it a felony to make a threat of mass violence on school property.
More than 84 percent of school board members who responded to a recent North Carolina School Boards Association survey said they support a bill making it a Class H felony to communicate a school threat. The bill received unanimous support from the House last year but stalled in the Senate. It’s eligible for consideration this year. ( News & Observer)
- Congrats, Parkland Activists. You’ve launched the next “me too.”
- Three More School Threats In NC Last Week
3 – Threats to school are out of control but some NC students don’t want more resource officers.
“The best of all worlds is of course to have school resource officers, in our opinion, in every school,” said Stanly County Superintendent Jeff James. “It’s unfortunate that our society has come to that, but that’s where we find ourselves these days.”
The additional officers are meant to protect students. But Jayla Hagans, a student organizer, doesn’t see it this way.
“If I had a child that was in elementary school, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a retired police officer there with a gun to try and protect my children,” said Hagans, a senior at Leesville High School in Raleigh. “It just doesn’t seem very logical to me, so it’s hard for me to even try and fathom what people are thinking, and what can be at the root of that.” (WUNC)
Hagans is a Leesville High student. That school is known to be a hotbed of student activism.
Hagans co-organized the March 14th student walkout and she has a linked in profile that says she is an organizer with “DSC” in Durham. I assume that DSC means Durham Solidarity Center.A key piece to read that dissect DSC is Many Social Justice Roads Lead Back To One Non-Profit.
The article goes on to criticize the fact that minority students are the ones receiving most of the suspensions or discipline at the hands of resource officers.
The article only includes opinions that support that idea, such as the Education Justice Alliance.
“As a black woman, with black children, I totally reject this idea or this notion that somehow black kids are worse,” said Letha Muhammad, director of the Education Justice Alliance. “That is a lie. That is an absolute lie.”
I’ve written several times about the Education Justice Alliance.
The group has been pushing for the same Obama era guidelines that allowed the Parkland shooter to keep from being arrested. They, along with a host of far-left groups, even sued Wake County Public Schools to achieve that end.
Here is some related reading on Education Justice Alliance to bring folks up to speed:
- The School to Prison Pipeline and the Parkland Shooting
- About Those Groups Protesting #WCPSS’s Black Student Suspensions…
4 – Here we go again. Roy Cooper is reviving the teacher pay fight.
Yet, per his M.O., he provides no plan for how to pay for it.
Cooper was cited by WLOS, parroting Common Core talking points prior to his teacher pay remarks:
We asked the governor if we can expect additional funding for public education.
“It is the way to help make sure that we have the skill-trained workforce for the future. Instead of more tax breaks to the wealthiest among us and tax breaks to corporations, we need to instead invest in education,” Cooper said.
The governor says he wants to see teacher pay increased to meet at least the national average.
He also tells us the next couple legislative sessions will be critical for education funding.
That last line? That’s the shot across the bow, Legislators.