In response to a recent order stemming from a 20+ year old court case that requires all North Carolinian children to have access to a sound basic education, the State Board of Education submitted a plan with the court last week to address how it will ensure all students succeed academically — and that proposal includes the establishment of an interagency advisory committee tasked with seeking solutions to educating at-risk students.
In its court filing, the State Board of Education proposed establishing an Interagency Advisory Committee on Public Education to discuss the challenges at-risk students face. A hearing on the Board’s plan, part of the lawsuit called Leandro, is scheduled for July 21-23 before Superior Court Judge Howard Manning.
For years, Manning has criticized persistently low-performing schools and districts. Much of the Board’s response is a catalog of existing teacher preparation and evaluation efforts and classroom practices.
According to the State Board’s filing with the court, the committee would comprise “representatives from key child-focused entities, such as: state agencies (DPI, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Safety – Juvenile Justice, etc.); local boards of education; local mental health organizations; private non-profits, including representatives from the charter school community; community colleges, universities and others.”
Those stakeholders would come together to review the challenges at-risk youth face that relate to poverty, health and safety and develop recommendations for the State Board of Education as well as other agencies in an effort to improve educational access.
In their 54-page plan, the State Board highlights the successes they’ve had in supporting low performing schools since the original 1997 Leandro ruling, emphasizing existing teacher preparation and evaluation programs as well as other classroom supports as a way forward in meeting their constitutional duty to provide a sound basic education to all students.
But, according to the News & Observer, many of those school improvement efforts have largely been funded with federal Race to the Top funds, which are scheduled to dry up this year. While the House has included some funds to fill in the gap in its 2015-17 budget proposal, the Senate puts the onus on local school districts in its budget to fund those programs going forward.
With the establishment of an interagency advisory committee, the State Board emphasizes that the academic success of all students cannot be accomplished by public schools alone, and that the obligation rests with every state agency as well as the public at large.
Judge Manning will review the State Board’s plan at a hearing scheduled for July 21-23.
Read the State Board’s plan here: The Mandate To Provide An Opportunity For A Sound Basic Education, An Update and Recommendation.