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16. Smaller class sizes, battle with the State Board, and more: a conversation with Superintendent Mark Johnson

Superintendent Mark Johnson on the second day of his first State Board of Education meeting (Photo Credit: Alex Granados)
Superintendent Mark Johnson on the second day of his first State Board of Education meeting in January 2017 (Photo Credit: Alex Granados)

Yesterday was a big day for education policy in North Carolina. It started with an announcement of a legislative proposal that would use lottery money to fund salary increases for principals and construction for school districts. It continued with a press conference in the afternoon revealing a bill that would create a new Teaching Fellows Program targeted at teachers focusing on STEM or special education subject areas. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson was present at both announcements. In between the events, he spoke with us about principal pay and facility construction, and other education bills making their way through the General Assembly. He also discussed what he has learned since he started the job in January. 

We also spent some time on Johnson’s relationship with the State Board of Education. A lawsuit is pending that will decide the legality of legislation passed during a special session of the General Assembly in December. The legislation transferred certain powers from the State Board of Education to the Superintendent. Until the judiciary intervenes or resolves the issues, those powers stay with the Board. 

Hear our interview with Superintendent Mark Johnson below. 

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EdTalk Podcast

A weekly look at North Carolina education issues and policy.