Liz Schlemmer

The famous well at UNC-Chapel Hill, with a larger building in the background.
Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill

Do UNC-Chapel Hill’s admissions policies disproportionately favor underrepresented minorities? That question is at the center of a federal court case on trial in Winston-Salem.

wileydoc / Flickr

North Carolina State University announced a return to in-person classes and on-campus living for the spring semester yesterday. The school closed in late August after a rise in COVID-19 cases. School reopenings led to spikes in cases across the country, according to a new study co-authored by two North Carolina-based professors — as many as 3,000 cases per day. 

Students sitting on the North Carolina State campus wearing masks and socially distanced.
N.C. State University

Within one month of reopening campuses, positive COVID-19 cases are cropping up throughout the UNC System. Three of the system’s 17 schools have already pivoted to remote instruction: UNC Chapel Hill, East Carolina University and North Carolina State University have all ended in-person instruction, encouraging students to move off campus as soon as possible.

UNC Facilities

Students are beginning to arrive back on campuses across the UNC System, and workers are concerned for their own safety amid early accounts of inconsistent mask-wearing and large social gatherings on campuses.

Courtesy Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

In an email to leaders at all 17 UNC System campuses, UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randall Ramsey asked each chancellor to prepare a proposal that reflects a budget cut of up to 50 percent. 

A group of women sit around a table. A sign behind them reads "Think Babies."
North Carolina Early Education Coalition

Even before COVID-19 began to impact childcare center operations across the state, half of North Carolina was a childcare desert — a geographic area where three or more working-parent families vy for every available childcare slot. 

Kristy Dactyl

As colleges across the nation deliberate over whether to continue holding classes remotely in the fall, UNC system schools — including North Carolina A&T State University, NC State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — have already announced their tentative plans for campus reopening.

Courtesy of Trey Roberts

Over one million North Carolinians have student loan debt, and the average borrower owes about $25,000. Even under normal circumstances, education debt can be prohibitive. 

Courtesy of Ty Meyer

For students and educators around the state, this year’s learning is in a state of flux. Public schools are holding out hope that they will reopen their doors before the school year ends. 

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.

Don McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

A judge voided the deal between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the controversial Silent Sam statue.

Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

ECU trustee Phil Lewis resigned this morning during a special session of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors.

 

Matt Couch/WUNC

Who really owns Silent Sam? Archaic property law and a 1913 speech underpin the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ claim to the contentious monument torn down in Chapel Hill in 2018.

Pxhere

North Carolina is not spending enough on education, according to a new report commissioned by Superior Court Judge David Lee. The report outlines that due to the state’s declining public education spending, public schools and academic performance are declining.

BRIAN BATISTA / FOR WUNC

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted today to make Kevin M. Guskiewicz the permanent chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill. Guskiewicz had been serving as interim chancellor since Carol Folt resigned from the position in February. This appointment comes amidst ongoing controversy over the BOG decision to hand over ownership of Silent Sam and a $2.5 million trust to the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans.  

headshot of Amanda Magnus
Ben McKeown

"The State of Things" staff reflects on 2018 by sharing their favorite segments from the last year. Amanda Magnus is one of two new producers on the show. She moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin last January, and she discovered a lot of new things about the state through the segments she produced.

Jakeli Swimmer in front of his classroom.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Of the nearly 16,000 enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, fewer than 300 can fluently speak the Cherokee language. Most of those speakers are over the age of 50 and think their heritage language is on the brink of extinction.

Teacher in classroom with students.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/auPuAq

Tens of thousands of North Carolina teachers flooded Raleigh in May to demand higher pay. But many of the teachers who marched also voiced a desire for more public school funding.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey (center-right) listens while State Superintendent Mark Johnson gives his monthly address to the board.
Jess Clark / WUNC

On Thursday, State Board of Education Chair Bill Cobey submitted his resignation. His resignation will go into effect in September, six months before his term as chair was set to end. This move comes after State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson shared his reorganization of the State Department of Public Instruction. 

State Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson
NC Public Schools

The North Carolina Supreme Court released a ruling Friday over who is in charge of running the state’s public schools: the State Schools Superintendent or the State Board of Education. After the decision was unveiled, both sides claimed victory.

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

A controversial charter school bill passed in the General Assembly on Wednesday. The bill would allow four municipalities outside Charlotte to run their own charter schools.

Supporters of raising pay for teachers began to march in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday morning.
James Morrison / WUNC

Thousands of North Carolina teachers march through the streets of Raleigh on Wednesday to call for higher pay and for more resources for their students. The march is part of the wave of educator-led activism across the nation in backlash to federal and state-level education budget cuts.

photo of a gun and ammunition
Wikimedia Commons

Since the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school, President Donald Trump says teachers should be armed. Last week North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson polled teachers around the state about the matter.