North Carolina Public Schools

Several communities in rural North Carolina struggle with water infrastructure maintenance.
Courtesy of Flickr user mycieau

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is rolling out a bill that would require school districts and child care facilities to conduct routine testing of their water fountains for possible contaminants. 

The proposal comes after Mecklenburg and Guilford Counties recently did voluntary tests of their water, and found elevated levels of lead in taps at dozens of schools.

West Lumberton Elementary teacher June Hunt helps second grader Niveah Barnes with a grammar assignment in their temporary classroom at Lumberton Junior High. Flooding from Hurricane Matthew destroyed the home where NIveah was living.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Note: This segment is a rebroadcast from January 16, 2018. 

A study from the Public School Forum of North Carolina confirms a large and growing gap in public school funding between the wealthiest and the poorest counties. The study found that in 2015-2016, the 10 highest spending counties spent $2,364 more per student than the 10 lowest-spending counties, and the gap has increased every year since 2011.

Nestled in the Smokies Robbinsville High School is one of the few schools in the state that still uses corporal punishment.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Corporal punishment is still a legal practice in North Carolina schools. But today there are just two districts in the state where educators still inflict pain on students as a form of discipline.