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Hometown debates on public education

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  • In celebration of #AmericanEducationWeek, watch these hometown debates on school choice, teacher pay, and funding for public schools via @SpecNews1RDU @NC_IOPL with @HigherEdWorks @BESTNCorg as serving as advisors on the series. #nced
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Nov. 13-17 is American Education Week.

In celebration of the importance of public education, I wanted to lift up a collaboration that this year has sparked debate and conversation about our schools, our state, and our future.

In its eighth year, the Hometown Debate Series is a collaboration between the Institute of Political Leadership and Spectrum News.

This year, Higher Ed Works and BEST NC served as advisors for the series, and Loretta Boniti moderated the debates, which focused on education.

What will Opportunity Scholarship expansion hold for N.C.?

In this debate held on Oct. 10 in Sanford, state Sen. Benton Sawrey; state Rep. Zack Hawkins; Dr. Lauren Fox of The Public School Forum of North Carolina; and Marcus Brandon of CarolinaCAN discuss “various aspects of school choice, from charter schools to opportunity scholarships and everything in between” with a look at “the benefits, potential challenges, and impact on educational equity.”

You can watch the debate here.

Read the article by Higher Ed Works here.

What changes to N.C. teacher pay and recruitment are needed?

In this debate held on Oct. 24 in Raleigh, state Rep. Ashton Wheeler Clemmons; Brenda Berg of BEST NC, Jill Camnitz, a State Board of Education member; and Dr. Deanna Townsend-Smith of The Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity discuss teacher pay and licensure.

“Teacher compensation has long been debated in our state, which ranks 46th in the country for average teacher pay,” according to Spectrum News. “Now, education leaders are working to increase pay and recruit and retain teachers, which includes proposals for new licensure standards.”

You can watch the debate here.

Read the article by Higher Ed Works here.

Is N.C. spending enough on public education?

In this debate held on Nov. 1 in Benson, state Sen. Michael Lee; state Sen. Jay Chaudhuri; Mitch Kokai of The John Locke Foundation; and Alexandra Sirota of The N.C. Budget and Tax Center discuss how much money North Carolina spends on public education, if it is enough money, and what it is spent on.

You can watch the debate here.

Read the article by Higher Ed Works here.

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.