Lisa Miller

Reporter

Lisa Miller traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE.  She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio.  Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.  She covers several different areas with a focus on education. 

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Local News
9:30 am
Wed March 27, 2013

New CMS Security Plan Doesn't Include Fences

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has dropped chain-link fences from its security plan.  Tuesday night, the school board approved a revised plan that totals  $20 million.  It includes adding 4,000 cameras to schools, installing buzzer systems with intercoms on doors, giving schools software that can do instant background checks, and creating IDs for all students and staff.  CMS had to pare its original plan down after Mecklenburg County said it would delay other construction projects.  County commissioners still have to give the district the go ahead to use the bond money. 

Local News
4:56 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

NC Education Bill Would Do Away With Tenure, Limit Standardized Tests

North Carolina lawmakers are trying again this year to push through a number of changes to education, including getting rid of teacher tenure. 

That got dropped from an education bill Senator Pro Tem Phil Berger introduced last year.  He’s hopeful it’ll pass this year since Republicans increased their numbers in the General Assembly.  Berger says doing away with tenure is one more way to ensure each student has a good teacher. 

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Local News
2:31 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Mecklenburg Commissioners Consider Taking Over Ownership Of Schools

A bill introduced in the North Carolina senate would allow counties to take ownership of schools.  Some Mecklenburg County commissioners say they would want to own CMS buildings, if that bill passes.  That’s put CMS officials on the defensive.


This is how schools get built in North Carolina:  Since school districts don’t have taxing authority, voters approve bonds for the construction.  The county borrows the money and then passes it on to the school district. 

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Local News
1:32 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Mecklenburg Residents May See Delays In Getting Food Stamps

Mecklenburg County residents who receive food stamps may experience some delays in getting that assistance over the next several months.  The county is transitioning to an online system called NC FAST that will make it easier in the long run to apply for all kinds of assistance through the state.  But entering those applications will take extra time. 

Rodney Adams with the county’s Department of Social Services says people should initially expect longer lines at DSS offices and in some cases delays in receiving food stamps. 

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Local News
5:20 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Enlisting Coaches In The Effort To Prevent Domestic Violence

Ron Rivera and CBS sportscaster James Brown talk to coaches.
Credit Lisa Miller

Coaches can have a big impact on kids on and off the field.  With that in mind, a group working to prevent domestic violence gathered together a couple hundred coaches in Charlotte Thursday. They discussed how to grow players into respectful, young men.  

The group A Call To Men knows how to get coaches to listen up.  Call in Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera.

“When I started here, the very first thing I put up on my first PowerPoint: be a man,” Rivera told the coaches.      

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Local News
10:25 am
Fri March 8, 2013

The Funding Debate: A Tale Of Two Schools

Ashley Park Pre-k through 8
Lisa Miller

Not all schools are equal when it comes to public funding. Districts across the country spend more on schools that have a large percentage of low-income students. In CMS, the funding for some schools is more than double what other schools receive for each student.

But that doesn’t necessarily translate to academic success.  WFAE set out to find out why.

To borrow from a classic, let’s call this a tale of two schools.  One is highly successful.  One is improving, but still struggling.  Tina Yulee sees the difference every day.

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Local News
2:53 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Bill Allows City To Pay For Stadium Upgrades, But Not With New Taxes

State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow the city of Charlotte to pay for renovations to Bank of America stadium, but not the way the city wants to.  The bill sponsored by four Mecklenburg County lawmakers gives the city flexibility to redirect tax money earmarked for the convention center. 

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Education
7:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

CMS Gets Off To A Better Start With Latest Teacher Pay Plan Discussions

A couple years ago CMS was charging full steam ahead with a plan to pay teachers based partly on their students’ performance.  But it upset so many teachers and parents, the district put a halt to it.  Now, CMS officials are reviving the idea and trying hard to avoid past missteps.  They’ve asked teachers to begin working on another plan. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller joins All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey to discuss the latest efforts.

RUMSEY: Lisa, why is CMS talking about this issue again? 

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Local News
9:28 am
Wed February 27, 2013

CMS Board Asks County For $34 Million In Security Upgrades

Charlotte Mecklenburg School officials have a $34 million capital plan to improve security at all of the district’s schools.  It includes cameras and 8 foot tall chain-link fences on all campuses.  But the plan still requires buy-in from the county commission. 

The idea is to limit the number of entry points into schools.  Think about high schools like Myers Park and West Mecklenburg that have sprawling campuses reminiscent of small colleges.  CMS Chief Operating Officer Millard House says it’s too easy for intruders to get inside.  That’s where the 8 foot high fences come in.  

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Local News
3:50 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

New High School Diplomas Won't Be Big Change For Students

High school students in North Carolina will soon have the option of pursuing a diploma with a vocational endorsement, or a college-ready one.  Governor Pat McCrory has made a big deal of this.  He called it important legislation to help prepare students to fill needed jobs.  It sounds like a big shift, but it likely won’t be that much of a change for students at least right away.    

WFAE’s Lisa Miller joins us now.

MCFADYEN: So, Lisa, just how different will these class requirements be?

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