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This morning’s Greensboro News & Record editorial page contains an excellent piece on the General Assembly’s last minute “technical” change to the length of the K-12 school year.

The wrong word

North Carolina public schools must operate at least 185 days and offer 1,025 hours of instruction each year.

185 days or 1,025 hours.

That small change might make a big difference — and probably not for the benefit of the state’s K-12 students.

It was made as a “technical correction” to the state budget for the current fiscal year. It appeared almost without notice, let alone study or debate.

It is not a technical correction; it’s a policy shift. The legislative intent behind it, however, has not been explained.

But one hint was provided by Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, a co-chairman of the Senate’s education committee..

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

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As last week’s edition of the Weekly Briefing reported, one of the sketchiest things to emerge from the closing hours of the 2012 legislative session, was an amendment inserted into this year’s “technical corrections” bill at the behest of the tourism industry that further shortens the school year in North Carolina.

This morning, reporter Travis Fain of the Greensboro News-Record provides additional details on this troubling, last minute switcheroo:

“A one-word change nestled into a 7,000 word bill that passed in the waning hours of the recent legislative session lets local school boards slice 20 days off their annual school calendars.

This seems to be at odds with the Republican legislative majority’s push over the past year-and-a-half to add an extra five days to those calendars, and one educational group has suggested that it might violate the state constitution.”

Read Fain’s entire article by clicking here.