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Editorial: N.C. Forum’s 10 points can make public schools better

January 24, 2018 GMT

CBC Editorial: Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018; Editorial # 8262<br /> The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Last week North Carolina got its education report card. It was one of those that, in another setting, we might wish we could say the dog ate it. The state received a C- overall (40th in the nation) and a D (45th in the nation) in school finance, according to the Quality Counts 2018: Grading the States” report from Education Week.

Our legislative leaders like to point with miss-directed pride, to the state’s low tax, low wage, low cost-of-living – as a beacon enlightened opportunity. They don’t mention ranking among the worst states for teachers, low teacher pay, low school principal pay, low per-student spending, low support for Medicaid, low support for child health and, well, we could go on.

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And don’t point to those reports that rank the state high in attractiveness for business. It wasn’t all that long ago, that those who now crow about them were dismissing them as rigged and phony.

So, on the heels of that less-than-stellar report on the status of education in the state, the Public School Forum of North Carolina today offers up 10 issues that, if addressed forthrightly, will start to lift our state’s education system out of the basement.

“Adequacy and equity” in funding the state’s public schools, the Public School Forum says, is key.

“Adequacy and equity are central tenets to address the chronic and growing divide between urban and rural, wealthy and poorer school systems,” says Keith Poston, the forum’s executive director. “Where children are born should not determine the educational opportunities available to them.”

For those who truly want our state to have a top ranked public education system, focusing on the Forum’s 10 issues would be a good start on that road.

These are realistic and common-sense priorities to make public schools better that North Carolina policymakers, particularly leaders in the General Assembly, need to embrace.

To learn more about the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Top 10, click here.