Problems Facing North Carolina Public Schools in 2022

In addition to enrollment, here are the public school issues that EducationNC is watching and concerned about in 2022, particularly whether our educators have the bandwidth in the midst of a pandemic to defend themselves and the profession.

A new licensing plan that would change the way teachers are paid

This new licensing scheme is likely to be introduced in the long session of the legislature beginning in 2023, giving educators this year a say. following. Greene County Superintendent Patrick Miller currently chairs PEPSC, and who leads that commission will continue to be worth watching.

How our public schools are funded

In the budget passed by the Legislature, there is a provision – Section 7.17(a) of Senate Bill 105 titled “Full-Time Equivalency for Pupils in Public Schools – directing the Board of Education to North Carolina State to find a formula to use full-time equivalency as a measure of funding per student rather than ADM Full-time equivalency, also known as FTE, is one way to measure the number of hours of courses taken by students to finance, generally, institutes of higher learning, such as universities and community colleges.

The provision directs the Council of State to report to lawmakers by April 15, 2022 on an ETP formula.

A shift to funding based on ETP rather than ADM would deviate from the way education has traditionally been funded in North Carolina. We monitor the overall impact on public school funding as well as the impact on public schools serving home-schooled students and community colleges serving public school students.

How did we get here?

In 2009, the legislature commissioned an assessment of North Carolina’s school funding system by Denver-based consulting firm Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA). A final report was submitted to lawmakers in September 2010, titled “Recommendations for Strengthening North Carolina’s School Finance System”, and while there was bipartisan support for continuing school finance reform, it was suspended due to the Great Recession.

Five years later, after the end of the recession, the Legislative Assembly asked the defunct Program Evaluation Division to prepare this report. Wait for the name of the report: “Specific Allocation and System-Level Issues Are Negatively Affecting the Distribution of K-12 Resources in North Carolina.”

A legislative commission was convened in 2017 to take up the recommendations and reports. It looked like the legislation might pass, and then COVID happened.

The special budget provision could lead to significant changes in funding for public schools. Please stay tuned and prepare to weigh in.

About Leandro and providing a solid foundation education for our students

The Leandro case continues to unfold, and now it’s before the North Carolina Supreme Court again.

Who is on the merits of the case now also raises wider questions, including the separation of powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Here is information on how to follow the case.

In a sobering moment for me this year, an educator-turned-philanthropist wondered when and if the deal would lead to dollars for a classroom, school, or district.

In addition to the lawsuit, here are a few things to watch out for this year:

A federal constitutional right?

During my travels, most people do not realize that there is no right to education granted by the American Constitution. But now there is the beginning of a movement to create a federal constitutional right to quality education. You can watch a conversation about the potential impact this could have on closing America’s racial and economic achievement gaps here.

Inputs versus outcomes

In light of Republican victories in the legislature in 2020, looking at Leandro through a conservative lens could help find some common ground.

First question. Is public education an appropriate role of government? Consider the percentage of students enrolled in public schools.

Second question. What percentage of students are not getting a good basic education, and are there differences from district to district?

Although the court, the WestEd report and the comprehensive turnaround plan considered the results, the case is increasingly about the inputs.

Recently, I asked two principals how many children in their schools were not getting a good basic education. Silence first. Then they both shook their heads. If it were up to you, I asked, how would you rate whether a good basic education is provided? We need a way for teachers, principals, and superintendents to ask themselves if they are providing their students with a solid basic education.

Chief Justice Burley Mitchell stated the court’s opinion in 1997: “An education that does not serve to prepare students to participate and compete in the society in which they live and work is devoid of substance and constitutionally inadequate.

What results matter? Preparing for kindergarten? Literacy? Financial literacy? School attendance? A transition plan for dropouts? ACT? FASF? High school diploma? A career or college transition plan? Earn enough money to support the family?

How do we measure these results and what are the benchmarks? One possibility is to align the results with myFutureNC performance indicators.

Third question. Is there a financially accountable approach to additional investments towards these results on a district-by-district basis with evaluation?

Fourth question. Could innovation play a role in moving us faster towards these results?

In addition to the court case, we’re monitoring what’s happening with the Hunt-Lee Commission, which will deliver its recommendations in April, and the NC House Select Committee on an Education System for North Carolina’s Future, which begins deliberations today. .


Editor’s Note: Patrick Miller serves on the board of EducationNC.

Mebane rash

Mebane Rash is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of EducationNC.

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