Representatives of all three layers of NC’s public education system – Department of Public Instruction, UNC System and Community Colleges – laid out their budget priorities during a Joint Education Oversight Committee today. Merit pay in schools, or performance based-teaching, was also a major component of the discussion.
DPI Superintendent June Atkinson discussed the common core program and stated there would be a new Standard Course of Study in every subject, effective during the 2012-13 school year. The ACT assessment will also be used to compare North Carolina’s performance on the national level. In addition, Atkinson alluded to changes in teacher performance and tenure reform including multiple effectiveness measurements, an annual teacher evaluation, and additional professional development opportunities. As for the budget, Atkinson stated the number one priority would be addressing discretionary spending.
At the UNC system level, President Tom Ross said they are working on setting budget and policy priorities and that the process will be completed by early 2013. Ross specified five major elements to address workforce needs and improve state educational levels. The five elements include: establishing degree attainment goals responsive to state needs; strengthening academic quality; serving the people of North Carolina; maximizing efficiencies; and ensuring an accessible and financially stable university.
Budget-wise, Ross was most concerned with finding $2.3 billion to pay renovations and repair on 17 campuses while Scott Ralls, head of community colleges, would like to reinstate summer classes at a cost of $15 million, which lost funding in 2003.