Watson College of Education

RedforEdNC

Teachers held walkouts this year in at least six states:  West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina. The reason often cited in news headlines is salary.  But take a deeper dive, and you hear concerns about pension funds, funding for K-12 curriculum, and intangibles – like the lack of respect for the profession.

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North Carolina has a teacher shortage.  Enrollment in Schools of Education within the University of North Carolina system has dropped 30% since 2010.  And that, according to WRAL, is having a big impact on the number of teachers available to North Carolina schools.

Wikimedia Commons / Chiltepinster

Many of us are confronted each morning with our personalized news feed – whether the source is social media, a news app trained to select articles reflecting our preferences, or a TV channel.  Pundits have blamed those sources for the societal divides we’re seeing today.  Whether it shows up as a rejection of negotiation on Capitol Hill or the uncomfortable moment Uncle Steve criticizes the President while carving the Thanksgiving turkey, it’s a well-documented fact that polarization is at an all-time high.    

UNCW

As North Carolina legislators begin a new long session in Raleigh, both political parties have pointed to education as an area needing attention.  The first day of the session, Republican lawmakers filed a bill in the House to address class sizes.  That’s because last year, a newly-passed law reduced maximum class size – but came with no additional state funding.  That left some school systems looking down the barrel of cutting in other areas – such as arts and physical education.  That will be addressed this session.  And Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has listed education – particularly