Liz Schlemmer

Education Policy Reporter

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Policy Reporter, a fellowship position supported by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. She has an M.A. from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Media & Journalism and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University.

She has previously served as a temporary Morning Edition producer and intern at WUNC and as a news intern at St. Louis Public Radio. Liz is originally from Indiana, where she grew up with a large extended family of educators.
 

Cold case file
JULIENNE ALEXANDER / CRIMINAL

When the Dallas Police Department fails to find the person responsible for the death of a college sophomore, her best friend steps in to solve the case.  

Greensboro city skyline
Mark Goebel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4UYDyX

The city of Greensboro could do more to ensure businesses owned by women and minorities get contracts with the city, according to a report presented to the city council this week.

UNC System President Margaret Spellings in her office
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings updated the joint legislative education oversight committee Tuesday on a new commission to develop statewide education goals.

Courtesy of NC Coastal Land Trust

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust has plans to help form a state nature preserve on a site that may be the final destination of the historic lost colony at Roanoke Island.

File photo of Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

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.

School bus
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Educators and education policy leaders are weighing many options when it comes to improving school safety in an age of mass school shootings and other threats of violence. Add to that list strengthening penalties for anyone who threatens a school and its students.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

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.

An image of hands raised
Creative Commons

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.

Students at East Chapel Hill High walk out of their class on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 as part of a nationwide call for tighter gun control measures.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 4:27 p.m.

Students hoisted "Stand United" signs. They chanted "''Hey, hey, ho, ho - the NRA has got to go" outside the White House. Others read the names of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High victims aloud in a somber tribute.

Memorial and calls for gun control cover a fence outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Many North Carolina students will join fellow students across the country in walking out of classes Wednesday. The day marks one month after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Area schools are taking a variety of approaches to the expected protests.

gun with lock
Associated Press

The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force voted Wednesday to recommend that the General Assembly support a statewide firearm safety initiative. That effort would focus on spreading awareness of safe firearm storage and would distribute free gun locks. The recommendation will go into the task force’s action agenda for the legislature’s short session in the spring.

In this Dec. 27, 2012 file photo, Cori Sorensen, a fourth grade teacher from Highland Elementary School in Highland, Utah, receives firearms training with a .357 magnum
Rick Bowmer / AP

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.

boy holds gun control sign
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

 

Thousands marched in Raleigh Wednesday night to remember the people killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students took center stage as they called for North Carolina elected officials to toughen gun restrictions.

A class of West Lumberton Elementary kindergartners meets in their temporary building at Lumberton Junior High. The school's enrollment is down from 150, pre-Matthew, to 90.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore is expected to form a new House committee on school safety on Tuesday. That comes days after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

Students wearing yellow scarves for National School Choice Week
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

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.

N.C. Supreme Court Building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

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.

File photo of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The governor addressed the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at North Carolina State University.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

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

Children in a small class size at The Piedmont School in High Point.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The Education Savings Account is a new state program that allows families of qualified children with disabilities to apply for a taxpayer-funded account to pay for educational expenses while attending a private school.

File photo of Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The State Board of Education has granted  the Innovative School District an extra 60 days to choose an operator for its first school.

A sign indicates a no-student drop-off zone with Wake County public school buses in the background.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A legislative task force is in a year-long process to consider overhauling how public schools are funded. Legislators heard from school administrators on Wednesday about their thoughts on the current funding model.

M&P .45
Daniel Weber's photo stream / Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Daniel Weber’s photostream

A state legislative committee that oversees emergency management heard an update Thursday on school safety measures. The committee's chair opened the meeting with a reflection on recent school shootings in other states.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

School choice advocates around the state this week are celebrating their ability to choose a school other than the local public school to which their child is zoned. Charter school students and voucher recipients are wrapping up in yellow scarves embroidered with the words, "National School Choice Week," and carrying signs that say, "Got choice?"

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

Thousands of teachers across the state are receiving bonuses this January as a reward for helping improve their students’ test scores. That includes pre-existing bonuses for some specialized high school teachers* and third grade reading teachers, as well as brand new bonuses in certain core subjects in elementary and middle school.

Brandon Lemasters, standing, helps a friend change a tire on his SUV on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Winston-Salem, after the vehicle slid through a curve on a ice-covered street the day before and hit a curb.
Skip Foreman / AP

Updated 5:45 p.m. | Jan. 18, 2018

Southerners shoveled, scraped and plowed their way Thursday out of a snowy deep freeze that caused a standstill across much of a region accustomed to mild winters.

Teachers in North Carolina have seen pay raises
www.audio-luci-store.it / Flickr

Aspiring new teachers in North Carolina have had to wait up to six months to receive their teaching licenses, according to complaints the Department of Public Instruction has received from educators as well as schools looking to hire.

File photo of Southside-Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The State of North Carolina is embarking on an educational experiment to open a new school district aimed at improving struggling schools. On Tuesday, the Robeson County Board of Education voted to transfer control of one of its elementary schools as the first in the new district next year.

a teacher in a classroom
Bart Everson / Flickr/Creative Commons

The State Board of Education this week heard a draft report on the State of the Teaching Profession. The annual report  details the attrition rates for teachers in North Carolina.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

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.

Students use laptops at Siler City Elementary in Chatham County.
Chatham County Schools

The State Board of Education this month approved $1.2 million in grants to support digital learning initiatives in 30 school districts and one charter school. The grants are paid for by the state’s digital learning plan fund.

www.ncpublicschools.org / NC Department of Public Instruction

The North Carolina School Report Card has a new website to display data about the state's public schools. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson walked the State Board of Education through the new site at the board's December meeting.

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