Among the biggest challenges Gov. Perdue faces is improving North Carolina’s education system. Lowering North Carolina’s dropout rate will be one of the new Governor’s top education priorities. Currently, almost 30 percent of students who enter high school fail to graduate four years later. In 2006-07, over 23,500 students dropped out of North Carolina’s public schools.
Improving public education in North Carolina is a topic that usually generates more heat than light. One of the reasons is that much of the discussion is dominated by long-held myths about public education.
The 2007-2008 legislative sessions were marked by strong but uneven growth in appropriations for the University of North Carolina (UNC) and North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS). NCCCS moved forward with a controversial directive – which it later reversed, and is currently again reviewing – to admit illegal immigrants. The Legislature continued to finance UNC construction projects through authorization of record amounts of non-voter approved certificates of participation (COPs). Major legislation impacting higher education includes:
Improving K-12 public education was one of lawmakers’ top priorities for the 2007-2008 legislative sessions. In spite of boosting education appropriations, expanding selected programs and providing more incentives for teachers, the Legislature failed to effectively address a host of pressing challenges or move forward on a variety of education reform measures that enjoyed widespread public support.
As the State Board of Community Colleges prepares to meet this Thursday and Friday, August 14-15, the Civitas Institute urged board members to maintain the community college system’s ban on illegal alien admissions. Civitas’ letter to board members notes that, not only do voters support continuing the ban, but that doing so will benefit North Carolina’s working families and bolster the long-term value of a community college education.
Is Mike Easley America’s greatest education governor? The National Education Association (NEA) recently said so and honored the North Carolina Governor for “his achievements in transforming North Carolina’s public school system.” Before we send our congratulatory letters, let’s look at the record.
One week after the end of session, Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office has announced that the state community college system is permitted to enroll illegal aliens. The announcement reverses a previous opinion, released one week before the 2008 session convened, which had advised against admitting illegal aliens.
We’ve heard the assertion a thousand times: higher education IS the engine of economic growth. An educated population IS the foundation on which to build the knowledge economy of the 21st century. Such thinking has been behind North Carolina’s historically high levels of spending for colleges and universities. During most of the last thirty years, the state’s financial investment has consistently exceeded neighboring states as well as the national average.
Last week the state Board of Education voted to strip some funding from charter schools that fail to meet state teacher licensing requirements. Current rules specify that 75 percent of elementary school and 50 percent of middle and high school teachers in charter schools must be licensed or certified by the state, but many schools fall short of those percentages. Now, such schools risk having state dollars withheld, and even the possibly of a state-imposed shutdown.
Raleigh, N.C. – With the controversial land transfer tax on the Orange County ballot less than three weeks from today, North Carolina voters overwhelmingly oppose the idea that county commissioners spend money to promote the referendum that will increase taxes.
North Carolina’s public school system is in need of fundamental reform. While education spending continues to grow, key measures of student progress demonstrate that the system is not adequately serving our state’s children and families. State funding for education has increased by $3.5 billion since 1998 and 32 percent over the last six years. […]
Since passage of legislation to legalize the education lottery in North Carolina in 2005, gambling has been treated like other public vices. Simply put: the public tolerates smoking, drinking and gambling, but it wants the activities regulated and kept away from children. Some recent developments make me think officials at the North Carolina Education Lottery are ignoring public sentiment and are intent on creating their own rules.
“Cool wisdom.” That’s the phrase the News & Observer used in an editorial (“Defending Open Doors”) to summarize outgoing community college President Martin Lancaster’s statement justifying the admission of illegal immigrants to the state’s community colleges. I strongly disagree with the News & Observer’s assessment, mostly because I find Lancaster’s statement riddled with inaccuracies and doubtful claims. Let me explain.
The U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, estimates population demographics annually. After applying parameters for citizenship and school enrollment to the 2006 ACS data, the data revealed 12,650 non-U.S. citizens in North Carolina enrolled in public undergraduate institutions. "Non-U.S. Citizens" are either in the country legally (in this case, as holders of a student visa) or illegally. The chart below illustrates the breakdown of these students based on data reported by the UNC and N.C. community college systems. See below for methodology.