Friday, April 20, 2007

Education 4-20-07

Education, community, and business leaders gathered this week to help provide the House Education Subcommittee on Pre-School, Elementary and Secondary Education with some guidance as it begins a new initiative to improve the state’s graduation rate. Howard Lee, chairman of the State Board of Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, as well as the presidents of Communities in Schools, the North Carolina Association of Educators and the N.C. Society of Hispanic Professionals and representatives from the Hunt Institute, the N.C. Justice Center and SAS attended the hearing, along with Speaker Joe Hackney, House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman and other lawmakers.

The House is expected to approve legislation this session to create pilot programs using some of the ideas gathered at the hearings to be held in Raleigh and Durham, and from educators.

The House education budget subcommittee has agreed with the Senate on a nearly $11 billion budget proposal. The draft offers about $114 million less than what Gov. Mike Easley wants and would not allow for his Learn and Earn program to be offered online to all of the state’s high schools. Budget writers in both chambers hope that more money will be available for education after the budget and finance packages are refined.

Nearly 100 undergraduate students from University of North Carolina schools visited the General Assembly on Tuesday as part of a research symposium. The research ranged from bee behavior, to a study of access for the disabled, to how racial bias influences jurors, a project by one of four students from Greensboro, three of whom were from UNC-G and one from A& T.

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