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All attention this week was on the controversial and sudden budget veto override vote that happened earlier this week. For the whole story on that, go here

But while everybody was focused on that, a few other notable education matters were happening. 

School safety

In the ongoing attempt to get around Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget, Senate lawmakers passed a bill that contains the school safety components of the budget. It’s over in the House now, but there hasn’t been a vote yet. 

Read the budget bill here.

Read the money report here.

The bill would give $23 million recurring and about $15.1 million non-recurring in the first year to the state Department of Public Instruction for school safety. In the second year, DPI would get $29 million recurring. That money will be used, in part, for the following: 

  • School safety equipment grants: $6.1 million non-recurring in year one. 
  • School safety training grants: $4.5 million non-recurring in year one.  
  • Students in crisis grants: $4.5 million non-recurring in year one.  
  • School resource officer grants: $3 million recurring in the first year and $6 million recurring in the second year.  

Charter report

A draft report of the annual charter schools update for 2017-18 was released this week as the number of charters in the state fast approaches 200. 

The report showed that for 2017-18, 114 of 166 charter schools met or exceeded expected growth. That amounts to 68.7%. However, that number represents a decline that had been evident in the previous three years, as seen in the chart below. 

Courtesy of Office of Charter Schools

The data are more positive when it comes to the financial and operational goals of charter schools. One hundred sixty-two of 172 charter schools (94.2%) met or exceeded all of these goals, which is a steady increase over four years and a dramatic improvement from 2014-15 when only 32.1% did so. 

Courtesy of Office of Charter Schools

For 2017-18, 28 charter schools got a D or F school performance grade from the state. The State Board of Education’s target is 25, so charter schools at large didn’t meet that target, but the number is an improvement from the previous year, when 37 schools had a D or F. 

When it comes to continually low-performing charter schools, 28 charters met that definition. Continually low-performing schools are schools that were identified as low-performing in two out of the last three school years. The State Board of Education’s goal for this is nine, and the number for the prior year was 20. 

NC gets a C-minus from Education Week

Education Week released its Quality Counts Survey recently, and it gave North Carolina an overall grade of 72 out of 100, putting it at 37 out of all the states and the District of Columbia. The nation as a whole got a C. 

The state got a C-plus in the Chance-for-Success category. This is basically a category that looks at things including early education foundations for children, pre-k through postsecondary education, and adult outcomes in the workforce. A C-plus puts North Carolina on par with the average state. North Carolina ranks 30th in the nation in this category.

The state got a D for school finance and was 45th in the nation. School finance basically looks at “spending patterns” and “equity in distribution of funds.” The average state gets a C. 

The state got a C-minus for the K-12 Achievement Index, making it 23rd. This index is basically looking at student performance. The average state gets a C. 

If you have a subscription, you can dive further into the results here. 

State Board of Community Colleges

The State Board of Community Colleges will be in Wilmington this week holding their annual planning session as well as their monthly meeting. I will be there, tweeting, writing, and keeping you informed. Follow me on Twitter at @agranadoster, and stay tuned here for updates. 

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.