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NC University System and K-12 Education Link

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The following article in the Charlotte Observer was highlighted in a message I received from Infonet, a NC Children’s Advocacy Group. I think you’ll find it a good read and let’s hope it’s not fiction. Mary

Charlotte Observer

“A powerful catalyst: Universities can give schools help no one else can”

Erskine Bowles, newly inaugurated president of the UNC system, has something to say to North Carolina’s academically troubled kids and public schools: You are our top priority. If Mr. Bowles is serious — and his actions suggest he is — that’s significant. It means the state’s kids and schools have a powerful new advocate.

When he began work in January, Mr. Bowles declared K-12 education the top emphasis for North Carolina’s public universities. He restated that priority at his installation ceremony this week — and reinforced it in his first state budget for the university system.

Mr. Bowles’ top two budget projects line up perfectly against practical needs. He’s seeking more money for programs to expand teacher education, teacher retention and teacher recruitment. He also wants money to train more nurses. The state’s supply of both has reached a crisis.

Assigning priorities for funding is in itself a sea change for universities, and it’s welcome. But the emphasis on public schools is especially critical.