Stephen Ross was first elected to public office in the early 1990s, serving on the Burlington City Council for 16 years. He went on to serve as Burlington’s mayor from 2003-2007, then won election to the NC House in 2012.Read More
Last week, we published a report highlighting the erosion of North Carolina's public education system following the 2008 recession and the 2010 Republican takeover in the General Assembly. Today, we look further into the state of racial equity in public schools around the state and explore how disparities in race and socioeconomic status have caused students of color to fall further behind.
In North Carolina, the achievement gap between wealthy and low-income students widened more than any other state between 2011 and 2014. This has been partially due to the resegregation of school districts as desegregation tactics have been abandoned in favor of the "neighborhood school" model.
North Carolina charter schools have further segregated students.
Students of color have disparately higher rates of punishment, such as short- and long-term suspension, than white students.
Students of color underperform their white counterparts in nearly every educational metric, even when controlling for factors like economic disparities and limited language proficiency.
See the full report here.Read More
Tens of thousands of teachers from across the state rallied in Raleigh on the first day of session to protest lack of funding for education. Teachers packed the legislative building and the gallery of House and Senate Chambers to confront their legislators about what is actually happening in classrooms around the state. After the House and Session senate quickly adjourned, teachers remained in the legislative building to seek out their representatives. While Democratic legislators largely stayed to speak to constituents, Republicans were nowhere to be found.
Instead, inside Republican legislative offices printed on large poster board in color ink (which many teachers across the state could not afford to print at the own schools for their students) were “Teacher Pay Facts” signs. The only problem—the teachers present claimed they had seen none of that money.
Outside of former Wake County School Board Member and current House member Chris Malone’s (R-Wake) office, teachers gathered at an open door hoping to find a legislator to speak with.
Chris Malone could not face North Carolina’s teachers and instead opted to send his intern to answer questions about one of the most pressing issues in the state. Hopefully next time the North Carolina citizens who pay his salary travel to make their voices heard, Malone can give them a few minutes of his time.Read More
The National Education Association released its annual report Monday. It highlights that, despite political talking points, North Carolina continues to rank near the bottom of teacher pay and per pupil spending when compared to the rest of the country.
Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. This time we look at freshman Representative Linda Hunt Williams, going back to her days as a school choice advocate in Charlotte and as Deputy Director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. Williams was an early advocate for private school vouchers, spending state money to send kids to private schools. She was also an original “tea partier” advocating for less government and fewer taxes while working for the Koch-funded N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy. Read the full profile here.
Williams has always been a proponent of charter schools and vouchers, but voted to weaken N.C. public schools
Williams got her political start with U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth, and later moved to Koch-funded N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy
This unconstitutionally elected Republican majority continues to legislate, not on behalf of the people of North Carolina, but on behalf of their billionaire backers. Instead of protecting the middle class and building world-class public schools, this budget gives tax breaks to billionaires. Under this budget, North Carolina will keep falling behind when it doesn’t have to.
In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..
The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right:
We found these responses particularly insightful: On Thursday, Gov. Pat McCrory released a unambitious state budget, that barely covered the state’s most pressing needs. The Raleigh News & Observer explained it best, “The document runs almost 300 pages. Its expla…Read More