Liz Schlemmer

More high school students in the state say they are using e-cigarettes, or plan to start in the next year.

A total of 38 school districts will be closed for classes Wednesday while thousands of teachers march to the Capitol to call for better school funding. Some schools will hold an optional workday, with limited operations. That means many hourly employees, like cafeteria workers or bus drivers, could miss out on a day of work.

This Wednesday more than 10,000 teachers are expected in Raleigh on the General Assembly's opening day to demand better pay and working conditions.

Veteran educators say those demands are about restoring education funding to what it was before the recession hit and a wave of Republican-led policies and tax cuts dismantled their benefits.

Teachers have adopted the tagline: "It's Personal."

It was Saturday morning, and that meant the Cortes family was at church. They are faithful Seventh-day Adventists. Eleven-year-old Eddie played the piano to start the service.

His father, Eddie Sr. sat in the first church pew, next to Mafer, 15, and Natalie, 13, who leaned on their mom, Heidy.

Darrell Allison is on the road again, taking a final long trip to visit private schools across North Carolina. He's used to traveling - to small towns, suburbs, down east and to the mountains to talk to parents and legislators across the state.

Teachers in Arizona are protesting for higher pay, while Kentucky educators rallied at their state capitol this Friday. The same day, Oklahoma teachers ended a 9-day walkout, rivaling the length of time West Virginia teachers left their classrooms last month. Distressed teachers seeking higher pay and better funding for education have created a movement in red states, leaving some to wonder, will North Carolina teachers join in next?

The State Board of Education will vote this week on an operator for the first school in the state's Innovative School District, and the recommended contender's board of directors includes a former legislator who sponsored the bill to create the new district.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s answer to the Parkland shooting and a still-simmering national conversation about school safety began Wednesday with a legislative committee. The House Select Committee on School Safety met for the first time to discuss measures to keep public school students safe.

A new report from the left-leaning NC Justice Center has found that schools in the state have become slightly more segregated in the past decade. The report Stymied by Segregation found that the number of racially or economically isolated schools has gone up in that time.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson is asking teachers whether or not they would like to be armed. So far, most say no. Johnson sent an informal, online poll in an email to all of the about 100,000 public school teachers across the state Thursday morning and received more than 19,000 responses in the first 24 hours.

The General Assembly passed a bill Tuesday primarily to address issues with a prior law that reduces class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. While the measure to phase in and better fund those reductions had bipartisan support, Democrats have criticized the bill for tacking on a number of other provisions.

The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear a case Wednesday over a power struggle between Republican State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the Republican-led State Board of Education. Shortly after Johnson's election in 2016, the General Assembly passed a law to shift powers from the governor-appointed board to the superintendent.

Governor Roy Cooper is urging business leaders to pressure the General Assembly to make funding for education a higher priority.

The North Carolina State Board of Education earlier this month changed its policy for the standardized tests English language learners are required to take at the end of each school year.

The U.S. House Republican's version of the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act threatens to eliminate a major tax benefit for graduate students. Now some area graduate students are speaking out against it.

Duke University's endowment could take a hit if the Republican tax plan passes. The bill includes a new excise tax on universities whose endowment fund is valued more than $100,000 per student. That could amount to a $10 or $15 million annual tax for the university, according to Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld.


This is Denita Dowell-Reavis’ second year as a principal at Faith Elementary, a public school in the small town of Faith, in Rowan County. She worked hard last year. While finishing her doctorate degree in educational leadership, she helped her school exceed its expected test scores.

DACA Recipients Rally In Durham

Sep 6, 2017

A few dozen young immigrants stood at the Central Carolina Bank Plaza in downtown Durham on Tuesday, carrying protest signs and shouting, "Undocumented, Unafraid."

North Carolina's governor used the launch of a school supply drive on Tuesday to argue that the GOP has been inadequately funding education, forcing too many teachers to have to use their own money to buy pencils and paper for their students.

The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship program supplies funds to help up to 6,000 low income students attend private schools. The state-run program is slated to expand in coming years. Education researchers from North Carolina State University recently evaluated the scholarship to see how it's working for parents and schools who participate.

Carloads of tourists rolled in, stores stocked seafood counters and kitchen workers chopped vegetables Friday as two North Carolina islands reopened to visitors after a weeklong power outage at the height of vacation season.

Democrats in the State Senate are pushing for what they call fair redistricting. The legislature meets this month to redraw district maps.

Power has been restored to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. Utility crews with Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative and its contractors completed work earlier Thursday afternoon.

Recently released research from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill projects that unchecked climate change will significantly impact premature deaths associated with air pollution.

Residential areas in western North Carolina have seen an increase in bear activity in the past month, including some especially unusual behavior from a couple of black bears in Asheville and Cashiers. 

Global warming and urbanization are threatening bee populations across the country. One factor in that threat is heat. At high temperatures, bees become unable to reproduce, fly or even walk.

So researchers from North Carolina State University recently set out to see just how much heat local wild bees could handle.

Fewer Tax Incentives Means Fewer Films In NC

Jun 16, 2017

Filmmakers have spent less and produced fewer projects in North Carolina in the past two years.

That's when the state changed its film incentives program to a capped-grant program. Before the change, state taxpayers offered credits to filmmakers with a project cap but no statewide limit.

New cases of hepatitis B and C have risen significantly in North Carolina in recent years. In response, state health officials are warning those at a higher risk for the infection to get tested. 

North Carolina is receiving a large federal grant to treat people addicted to opioids. Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that the state will receive $31 million for treatment initiatives over the next two years.

Two Appalachian State University students have won second place at an international competition for their creative, sustainable biofuel project.

Ali Moxley and Kelsey Simon pitched an idea to have corn chip factories use cooking oil left over from manufacturing to fuel trucks that transport packaged chips.

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