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Articles tagged with north carolina

Voucher program found unconstitutional in North Carolina

Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood found North Carolina’s voucher program unconstitutional giving NC public school supporters cause for celebration. Hobgood found the program which effectively takes funding from public schools and directs it to private and religious schools, in violation of the fundamental provisions of the state constitution. “Appropriating taxpayer funds to unaccountable schools does not accomplish a public purpose,” Hobgood said in his ruling. The North Carolina School Boards Association filed a lawsuit in December 2013 against the state challenging legislation, and on August 21, won on all constitutional grounds.

Staff|August 22nd, 2014|Categories: Announcements, School Vouchers|Tags: , |

You get what you pay for, especially in education

stockvault_9810_20080130One of my pet peeves is that people demand that public schools do a better job in educating students—then their elected officials pull the rug out from under any effort to do so.

Case in point: After years of investing in smaller class sizes, state policymakers are giving up on the effort because of severe budget cuts.

Now, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the class-size movement. Although there is research to suggest smaller class sizes are beneficial, my thinking is that some of those benefits are achievable with more careful classroom assignments—basing class size on the needs of each child and the capabilities of individual teachers.

To me, shrinking class sizes to some arbitrary number is no guarantee of student academic gains. If I’m wrong, of course, then today’s policy decisions to raise class sizes are all the more wrong-headed.

 And that, I suppose, is my real point: If you invest millions of dollars and millions of hours in administrative time to improve student learning, what does it say about your commitment to school reform when you give up on that investment because times are tough?

Naomi Dillon|March 17th, 2011|Categories: Governance, Student Achievement, Policy Formation, Budgeting, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

Tasers— is there a place for it in schools?

Police issued X-26 Taser

Police issued X-26 Taser

An interesting  and, for the moment, civil debate  has ensued between North Carolina’s Guilford County law enforcement and school officials.

On one hand, we have the district. Tasked with  providing a nurturing and safe learning environment, it has contracted with various local law enforcement agencies to help them in this endeavor, placing them in just about every middle and high school campus. 

And for it’s part, the local police departments are more than willing to help schools remain the secure and sound places of learning they should be. Where the two entities are disagreeing, however, is the method.

When the Guilford County Sherrif’s Office began arming its deputies with Tasers in 2007, it also went to the school resource officers. And this year, two other police departments that the district works with, provided their SRO’s with Tasers, too, heightening a percolating sense of unease that educators and families have felt about having these weapons on school sites.

It certainly didn’t help, when an SRO used a Taser on a female high school student earlier this year, nor that days later another SRO suffered injuries after breaking up a student fight because, according the sherrif’s office, the deputy wanted to avoid further controversy and abstained from using the device.  

School board member Sandra Alexander told the News & Record, the majority of the board and the public don’t like the idea of Tasers in schools, with the board extending an invitation to local law enforcement officials to speak about the matter at an upcoming board meeting.  

Naomi Dillon|November 16th, 2009|Categories: Governance, School Security, School Climate, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , , |
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