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Setting North Carolina's Education Priorities

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby
During the legislature's short session, they passed several education bills.

More than half of the state budget is spent on public education.

In the latest budget adjustments, state lawmakers approved an average 4.7 percent raise for teachers.

Meanwhile, the legislature passed a handful of education bills during the short session that could shift the balance between public and private schools.

One of them allows charter companies to take over selected schools. Another expands the voucher program. Supporters say the measures allow for more opportunities. Opponents say they weaken public schools.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Jess Clark, WUNC's Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting, about the latest changes to North Carolina's education policy.

Stasio continues the conversation with Catherine Truitt, education adviser to Gov. McCrory, and Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, a teacher's union, about education priorities in North Carolina.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that more than half of the state budget is spent on K-12 public education. More than half of the budget goes to public education, including colleges and universities. K-12 spending alone accounts for about 40 percent.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.