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Awake58: The budget process continues and questions about the funding formula heat up.

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Click here to subscribe. 

The budget process continues and questions about the funding formula heat up

Almost half of college students worry about running out of food… Advocates lobbied last week for in-state tuition for undocumented students… A-B Tech awarded a posthumous degree to Riley Howell… the Sandhills Promise scholarship program was featured in the Southern Pines Pilot… the North Carolina Senate budget came out today

It was fairly quiet in state government last week, but we can expect things to heat up this week as the Senate budget was just released.

As I heard from folks in recent weeks regarding their thoughts on the House budget — and what they expected from the Senate budget — I kept thinking back to our piece with John Quinterno on the challenges of the funding model for the community college system. I would encourage you to spend time with it and let us know your perspective.

Quinterno zeroed in on a number of factors including:

  • The funding-in-arrears model. Quinterno described four challenges from the funding-in-arrears model: “an inability to accommodate rapid enrollment change, a lack of differentiated funding based on real program costs, limited resources to start or expand programs, and an absence of dedicated capital funds.”

  • Funding adequacy as it relates to faculty pay, capital needs, and other issues.

  • The diversity of students served by community colleges. Quinterno points to a long simmering debate around FTE and unduplicated headcount as a key issue for colleges who serve many part-time students.

As the budget debate heats up, check out Quinterno’s piece, and let us know your thoughts.

– Nation

A message from our friends at the Institute for Emerging Issues

The Institute for Emerging Issues is preparing for their  upcoming Emerging Issues Forum, ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity, on October 15th 2019 in Charlotte. Through an application process, they are putting together a cohort of five communities that are working on successful efforts to connect adult, lower income earners to:

* information or services related to sustainable-wage employment;

* effective skill-enhancing training models and employer-supported initiatives; or

* programs that remove non-academic barriers to, and provide support for, postsecondary education

“Communities” can be an organization or partnership located in a region, county, city, town, or neighborhood. These can include, but are not limited to, entities of local government, educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and faith communities.  More information about the program, application process and application form can be found on their website. The deadline for applications is June 7, 2019.

EdNC Reads

Report: Almost half of college students worry about running out of food

My colleague Analisa grabs your attention from the start with these stunning statistics: “Almost half of college students worry that they will run out of food before they get money to buy more. Nearly half of college students can’t afford to eat balanced meals. Almost 38% of college students cut the size of meals or skip meals because there’s not enough money for food.”

Fighting for an education: Advocates lobby for tuition equity for in-state undocumented students

There are more than 300,000 undocumented residents in North Carolina. Every year undocumented students graduate from high schools across the state. Due to their citizenship status, they cannot qualify for in-state tuition, and they can face challenges qualifying for scholarships as well. A coalition rallied last week to drive awareness and lobby for changes.

Creating a culture of care to fuel data-driven instruction at Shamrock Gardens Elementary

This week, we have a series on innovative uses of data across North Carolina’s educational landscape. The series begins with a look at Shamrock Gardens Elementary in Charlotte and their use of data-driven instruction.

Other Reads

A-B Tech awards posthumous degree to former student Riley Howell

Riley Howell, who died in the UNC-Charlotte shooting several weeks ago, attended A-B Tech from 2016 until 2018 prior to transferring to UNCC. During their recent commencement ceremony, A-B Tech awarded Howell a posthumous degree.

Senator highlights success of Richmond CC’s Electric Lineman Program

Senator Tom McInnis attended Richmond Community College’s electric lineman program graduation. Noting that all of the graduates were graduating with job offers, McInnis told the graduating class:  “This is what it’s all about, when you have your graduates coming off the stage to companies just waiting to hire them.”

Novel SCC Scholarship Program is Thriving

The Sandhills Promise program offers students from Moore and Hoke County free tuition for the first two years of enrollment after high school if they meet certain requirements including a minimum GPA of 2.0, attending dual-enrollment classes at Sandhills Community College while in high school, and more. The Southern Pines Pilot has an update. We also covered Sandhills Promise during the first Awake58 blitz last August if you want more information on the program.

Listen: The financial crunch of families

The American Family podcast from Pew spent time exploring the real cost of raising a family. One stat stood out to them from the start: “$233,610. The cost of raising a child through age 17 for a middle-class American family, not including a college education.”


EducationNC ( believes a more informed, connected, and engaged North Carolina is a better North Carolina. Thank you so much for joining us in the conversation around our students, our state, and our future. If you have any questions about our mission and vision, feel free to email me.

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Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.