Liz Schlemmer

Education Reporter

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. She has previously served as the Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting at WUNC and as the education reporter at Louisville Public Media. She holds an M.A. from the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC Chapel Hill and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University. Liz is originally from rural Indiana, where she grew up with a large extended family of educators.
 

Courtesy of UNC System

The University of North Carolina System is tightening its belt in anticipated billions of lost state tax revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Carrington Middle School teacher and coach Terry McMillan passes a bag filled with multiple school lunches to a family at Lakewood Montessori Middle School in Durham, Monday, April 6.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Public schools across North Carolina have given meals to thousands of students since in-person classes ended for many three weeks ago, but this week's school meals will be the last in Durham.

Student practices wheel throwing in an East Carolina University ceramics class.
Courtesy of East Carolina University

Teachers and college professors have been given a huge challenge this month -- how to quickly adapt their classes for long-distance learning. North Carolina teachers are getting creative to engage their students.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

 

Vanessa Barnes has helped students navigate college admissions as a high school guidance counselor for 20 years. She knows all the ins and outs of applications, but her goal is simple.

“My passion is I want kids to be able to go to school,” Barnes said.

Barnes is a member of the North Carolina School Counselor Association, and has worked in both urban and rural schools. She says especially for less advantaged students, college can make all the difference.

ThinkStock

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having broad financial consequences, and college students are not immune to the effects.

The Statue of Minerva on the campus of UNC Greensboro
Courtesy of UNC Greensboro

While colleges and universities across North Carolina move classes online, administrators are also dealing with the complications that come with reducing on-campus operations.

A picture of UNC grad turning their graduation tassle
UNC-Chapel Hill

College seniors across the University of North Carolina System's 16 universities should expect their spring graduation ceremonies to be delayed, UNC System Interim President Bill Roper announced Friday.

"I know and understand that this will disappoint our students and their families who have worked so hard toward this goal for so many years," Roper said. "But the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff must be our top priority."

Stanly County Public Schools teacher Kristen Herlocker hands a bag lunch to a student at his bus stop.
Kristen Herlocker

Imagine a nine year old kid, stuck at home, who typically eats both breakfast and lunch at school. So what happens if his parents are struggling more than ever, and schools close to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Amia Byrd, 7, looks at the book Rapunzel in the children's section at the Richard B. Harrison Community Library on July 9, 2018.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

Families across North Carolina are adjusting to a new way of life — and of learning. 

Laptop computer
Ian Usher / Flickr

University professors across North Carolina are preparing to transition to online classes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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

 

Governor Roy Cooper has issued an executive order requiring all K-12 public schools across North Carolina to close for at least two weeks, beginning Monday, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Sharon Collins and Pat Garavaglia co-own Balloons and Tunes in Carrboro. After weathering 40 years in business, they're worried about what impact the coronavirus will have on their event-based store.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

As universities and corporations cancel events and people stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some small businesses are already suffering from the economic impact of the virus.

UNC Greensboro education student Shelby Morris reads "Freedom On The Menu" to a Girl Scout troop visiting the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

On a recent Saturday, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum at the old Woolworth's in Greensboro was buzzing with visitors. This year, the museum is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the lunch counter sit-ins there that ignited a movement. 

UNC Chapel Hill law student Maya Weinstein is among the students advocating for the University to boost its investment in sexual assault prevention.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

About three thousand undergraduate women start their college careers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill each fall. By the time they graduate, nearly half are likely to experience sexual assault or misconduct. A quarter are likely to experience assaults that meet the definition of rape -- and that’s only the women.

 

Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons

North Carolinians will cast their ballots on Super Tuesday for the first time next week. Although we join 13 other states in voting that day, some pundits argue North Carolina is the key state, even “ground zero”  in this presidential election cycle.

File photo of soybeans beginning to sprout on a farm in Nashville, North Carolina, on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

North Carolina's winter weather has been unpredictable -- swinging quickly from spring-like temperatures to snow and back. If that continues, those extreme swings could affect farmers.

Police stand guard after the confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.
Gerry Broome / AP

The UNC System Board of Governors is not making any immediate decisions on what to do with the Silent Sam monument, now that it is awaiting the statue's return.

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper said he will seek a "lasting, legal solution" for the future of the statue torn down by protesters, but that it will not return to its former location at UNC Chapel Hill.

"It will not go back on campus," Roper told reporters Friday.

Steve Warren, Creative Commons License

A new study from North Carolina State University suggests that aging levees across the country might be in worse shape than inspectors realize.

UNC student De'lvyion Drew and her attorney Elizabeth Haddix celebrate after a judge voided the UNC System's settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 12, 2020.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 6:45 p.m.

A judge has voided the UNC System’s $2.5 million settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the Silent Sam statue. District Court Judge Allen Baddour heard arguments this morning from attorneys for the UNC System, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, students and alumni.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The legal battle over the UNC System’s $2.5 million settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans heads back to court Wednesday.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors has accepted the resignation of a member of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees. The Board of Governors convened a special meeting to consider sanctions against ECU Trustees Phil Lewis and Robbie Moore for meddling in student government elections.

East Carolina University wants to be known simply as ECU.
Wikimedia Commons

 

The governing board of East Carolina University is plagued with in-fighting, as ethics complaints between warring factions of ECU’s Board of Trustees went before a committee of the UNC Board of Governors on Wednesday. 

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

A group of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are asking the UNC Board of Trustees to reconsider its ban on naming campus landmarks, in an effort to allow the renaming of buildings that honor people with racist ties.

Silent Sam
Gerry Broome / AP Photo

A group of high-profile UNC-Chapel Hill alumni are joining the fight against the UNC System Board of Governors' settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

South Building and the Old Well, UNC Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

 

 

After holding months of listening sessions across campus, students and faculty members of the UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Safety Commission announced their preliminary recommendations to a public audience on campus Tuesday night.

File photo of polling worker as she enters a polling place in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 24, 2019 as early voting began in the Republican primary election for the North Carolina 9th Congressional District, a special election that was forced after l
Chuck Burton / AP

As anyone in North Carolina knows, political ads - on television and social media - are everywhere right now.

NC School of Science and Math-Morganton

The North Carolina School of Science and Math has been aiming to open a residential campus in western North Carolina for fall of 2021, but it could be delayed by a year due to the state budget stalemate.

UNC Board of Governors in conference room
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Updated at 5:50 p.m. Jan. 18, 2020

The UNC System Board of Governors is taking the side of the Republican-led General Assembly in its budget fight with Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. The Board unanimously passed a resolution Friday urging passage of the GOP version of the budget approved by the General Assembly and vetoed by Cooper.

ThinkStock

Alamance Community College student Rosalyn Chambers knows what it feels like to have something stand in her way.

"The second day of school my car went kaput. It went out on me completely," Chambers said. "I'll never forget it."

Woman vaping holding a Juul podmod.
Courtesy of Vaping360 / vaping360.com/juul/juul-vapor-review/

While policymakers and parents are wringing their hands about how to get kids not to vape, a number of e-cigarette companies are offering college scholarships to teens. Authors of a new report in the journal Tobacco Control interpret the scholarships as a possible marketing scheme.

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