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Awake58: The 2019 North Carolina legislative session is coming.

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

The 2019 North Carolina legislative session is coming.

Welcome to Awake58. If you were forwarded this email from a friend, click here to subscribe. And if you want to be in the know of education issues, join any of our other EdNC emails, click here.

The NC General Assembly is here and we preview the potential debates ahead for community colleges… Career Pathways week is coming soon… Dr. Carol Spalding has been named the NC Community College President of the Year…

The North Carolina General Assembly officially kicked off the 2019 long session last week, but the real process begins this week. My colleague Alex Granados has a deep dive on what to expect from Jones Street out today, and I would encourage you to spend time with the piece by clicking here.

Alex highlights a few key points you will want to monitor:

“For the first time since EducationNC began covering the General Assembly in 2015, the Republicans no longer have a supermajority in the House or Senate. That could have big implications for how things unfurl this session. … If the Governor decides to veto something, Republicans will have to get some Democrats on their side if they want to override the veto. This gives both the Governor and Democratic lawmakers more leverage to affect policy. Expect to see more negotiation between the General Assembly and the Governor’s office and between legislative Democrats and Republicans.”

He also highlights the legislative agenda for community colleges, which includes parity funding for short-term workforce development. President Peter Hans told Alex recently, “Our legislative agenda is tightly focused on workforce development. The state has substantial needs in this area. This is our expertise…the community colleges do so many things, so many roles and responsibilities, but workforce development is at the top of that list.”

Other issues you will hear a lot about include simplifying residency determinations, faculty pay, money for upgrading information technology systems, and more. Alex has the scoop on the rest, so click on over.

Now I want to know what you think about the agenda. Do these feel like the right issues? What has been overlooked? What would you change? Reply directly to this email or text NATION at 73224 to let me know your thoughts.



EdNC Reads

Dr. Carol Spalding named North Carolina Community College President of the Year

Our congratulations go out to Dr. Carol Spalding! Dr. Spalding is the first president of Rowan-Cabarrus to be named president of the year for the system.

Cooperative Innovative High Schools: What are they and why does North Carolina have so many?

ICYMI, Liz Bell spotlighted Cooperative Innovative High Schools recently. We have 133 across North Carolina, but what are they exactly? I would encourage you to read the entire series, starting with this piece.

What’s happening around the state

North Carolina community college leaders announce workforce-focused legislative agenda

Speaker Moore appoints committee members in the NC House of Representatives

Berger and Ballard lead Education Roundtable with Surry Community

Governor Cooper declares Career Pathways Week in North Carolina

Edgecombe Community College and UNCW sign transfer agreement



What we’re reading

Persistence: The success of students who transfer from community colleges to selective four-year institutions 

As you know, more students are transferring from community colleges to four-year institutions. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation commissioned a study to take a look at persistence (read: drive and determination) of the students who transferred.

Building support to win a bond referendum

How did Alamance Community College win support for a $39.6 million bond package? This piece explores some of the answers.

Randolph Community College hosts conference focusing on suicide, opioid epidemic, mental health

Randolph County has one of the highest rates of opioid overdoses per 100,000 residents in North Carolina, and Randolph Community College is now doing their part to make a difference.

Four predictions for higher education in 2019

James Kvaal highlights a few predictions for higher education in 2019, including an increased emphasis around college affordability.


Join the People’s Session to tell Raleigh what matters to you

Now that you have read our legislative preview (if you haven’t, click on through), what are your top priorities for our community colleges? What issues matter most to you? When the legislature reconvenes at the end of January, EdNC and Reach NC Voices will be launching a special project called the People’s Session to understand your education agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

The People’s Session will allow you to weigh in on education issues and ideas, add your own ideas, and surface the issues you care about most for 2019. Then, we will publish your top priorities and share them with leaders across the state.

Signing up now for the People’s Session will allow you to participate when the legislative session launches. Click here to do so today!


Do you have a story to share?

We need your voice to tell the stories of our state’s 58 community colleges. We are now accepting first-person perspectives for We want to know your stories, ideas, and vision for our community colleges. To learn more about submitting an article, click here. If you respond to this email, I am happy to help you think about how to frame your perspective and story.



EducationNC ( works to expand educational opportunities for all students in North Carolina, and increase their academic attainment. We believe a more informed, connected, and engaged North Carolina is a better North Carolina. Our work takes many forms including storytelling, research, data, and community engagement. Thank you so much for joining us in the conversation around our students, our state, and our future.


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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.