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.
 

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.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Paying for college comes with a lot of choices, like choosing a meal plan. High school senior Jasir Haynes weighs his options about how much each plan will affect his eventual student debt.

Man unloads truck of canned food and produce for food pantry
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Wake County Commission Chair Jessica Holmes understands kids who grow up not always knowing where they’ll find their next meal.

Governor Roy Cooper’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education met for the first time this week. Cooper created a commission of educational experts to inform consultants, who will submit a written report to the court to recommend how the state can u
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A new commission tasked with giving input on a decades-long court case with broad implications for public education in North Carolina met for the first time this week.

Kalyani Hawaldar stands in front of poster describing the tax plan's effect on graduate students.
Courtesy of Kalyani Hawaldar

The U.S. House Republican's version of the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act threatens to eliminate a major tax benefit for graduate students. Now some area graduate students are speaking out against it.

Teacher helps student at desk.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Cyrus Henson arrives at his classroom at 7:15 a.m. each day after an hour-long commute through the foothills of western North Carolina. He teaches a full day of math to freshmen, then stays until 6 p.m. to prepare for the next day.

carrots and apples
Biser Todorov / Flickr

The Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle have put a total of 10 food pantries in Raleigh high schools as of this year. The county helps pay operational costs while the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle provides non-perishable food and fresh produce.

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The Robeson County School Board has come out against the State Board of Education's decision to select one of its elementary schools to be the first school in the state's new Innovative School District.

a woman and child walking at the Duke University campus.
rmanoske / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/a8PTMJ

Duke University's endowment could take a hit if the Republican tax plan passes. The bill includes a new excise tax on universities whose endowment fund is valued more than $100,000 per student. That could amount to a $10 or $15 million annual tax for the university, according to Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld.

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

The State Board of Education voted in its November meeting to close Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy in Bertie County after a series of issues that the Charter School Advisory Board Chair Alex Quigley called, "a pattern of failure."

A pencil and a form on a table inside a public school in Durham.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The State Board of Education has approved Southside Ashpole Elementary in Robeson County to be included in the state's new innovative school district. The initiative was created under state law to bring together low-performing schools and turn over their operations to charter school management companies.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

A legislative task force is poised to lead in making big changes to the way the state allocates funding to North Carolina's public schools.

The Silent Sam monument stands prominently on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus. Protestors for and against the statue’s removal attended rallies near the monument on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Thirty-four faculty members of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill School of Law have sent a letter to Chancellor Carol Folt urging the immediate removal of the Silent Sam Confederate monument.

Austin Allen / Duke Nicholas School of the Environment

Duke University researchers have new insight into why marine animals are eating plastic.

calculator with the word college
Jake Rustenhoven / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Roy Cooper has declared this Financial Aid Awareness Week, and this Saturday colleges across the state will hold FAFSA Day events. That means it's time for prospective college students to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The single application allows students to apply for both federal and state grants and loans to help pay for higher education.

view of flooded I-95 after Hurricane Matthew
Jay Price / WUNC

Small business owners affected by Hurricane Matthew can apply for assistance from a new block grant program.

Several hands of different colors raised.
John LeMasney / Creative commons

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation has found that children of color and those from immigrant families lag behind others in nationwide measures of health, education and economic security.

John McCord / UNC Coastal Studies Institute

Archaeological researchers at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute have identified a shipwreck in the Outer Banks as a World War II assault craft. Locals had previously rumored that the wreck was a gravel barge that ran aground in the 1960s, but a recent excavation suggests the vessel had a more remarkable past.

"Based on initial assessment, the story's often much deeper, and it's only through research that we get at that story, and in this case it was a surprise to me," said lead research Nathan Richards.

Principal Denita Dowell-Reavis stands in front of the doors to Faith Elementary, a school in Rowan County.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

This is Denita Dowell-Reavis’ second year as a principal at Faith Elementary, a public school in the small town of Faith, in Rowan County. She worked hard last year. While finishing her doctorate degree in educational leadership, she helped her school exceed its expected test scores.

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