Republicans in the North Carolina Senate have proposed a $20.6 billion budget for next year.  That’s essentially the same size as Governor Pat McCrory’s proposal. Spending in major categories would be mostly flat except for health and human services and natural and economic resources.  However, Medicaid spending would grow 11 percent compared to this year. 

The Senate’s Plan For Education

CPCC Grad's Journey Was Arduous

May 16, 2013
Diedra Laird / Charlotte Observer

Students attend Central Piedmont Community College for many reasons, but the story of 20-year-old Riyam Al Ghrary’s journey to CPCC surely ranks among the most harrowing.

It began in Iraq, about six years ago, on the day she was kidnapped. It will culminate Thursday evening, as she accepts her diploma at Bojangles’ Coliseum, one of about 1,900 graduates, the largest number in CPCC’s 50-year history. She was student body vice president and a scholarship winner. She’s graduating with a 4.0 average.

Northeastern-Charlotte Doubles Graduate Programs

May 9, 2013
Northeastern University

Boston-based Northeastern University opened its Center City campus in January 2012 with eight masters programs. Now, the University is adding seven masters degrees and two doctoral degrees. The programs were approved two weeks ago by the UNC Board of Governors.

Lisa Miller

Former Democratic Congressman and state schools superintendent Bob Etheridge is traveling the state with the group Progress North Carolina to speak out against several education bills before state lawmakers.

In Charlotte Thursday, he criticized a bill that would end the policy of limiting kindergarten through third grade classes to 24 students.  He also said cutting the income eligibility for the state’s pre-kindergarten program would hurt many kid’s chances of graduating. 

Lisa Miller

Kids used to go to gym a few times a week, but that’s not the norm anymore.  It varies greatly depending on your district.  Physical education has taken a hit as schools feel greater pressure to boost reading and math scores.  But now PE advocates are making the case that more time in the gym has academic benefits.

The CMS school board tonight will ask the county to finance a bunch of building projects over the next few years.  It could come out to about $400 million.  Central Piedmont Community College has a similar request.  But the county is only willing to put together a bond referendum for half that amount. 

County Finance Director Dena Diorio says the county uses nine different criteria for deciding which projects get priority. 

Lisa Miller

Some new kinds of teaching jobs with four CMS schools in west Charlotte have attracted a lot of interest.  The jobs are a blend of mentoring and teaching and they come with a big salary bump. 

A charter school bill that would change the oversight of charter schools in North Carolina has raised a lot of questions and speculation.  The bill would appoint a body independent of the state board of education to decide which schools should open and close.  The bill also includes several other changes like doing away with criminal background checks for charter school employees. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CMS superintendent Heath Morrison recently presented the budget for the upcoming school year. And fiscal challenges exist for all of CMS’ funding sources: county, state and federal. But despite those hurdles, Dr. Morrison says that the school district will continue pushing for success for all students. Under his leadership he plans to personalize education for each student and more fully embrace the diverse cultures of the student population. A conversation with Superintendent Morrison, when Charlotte Talks.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison has put a price tag on his vision for the district.  He wants Mecklenburg County and the state to pitch in an extra $27 million next year to help fund new programs and expand others.  Those include bringing more technology to classrooms and creating career and technical specialties at schools.  The plan also calls for 10 new positions to help schools coordinate with companies and groups wanting to help. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller was at last night’s meeting and joins Morning Edition host Duncan McFadyen in the studio.