NC House of Representatives – Susan Fisher Update
The Raleigh Report
N. C. House of Representatives
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
From the Office of Representative Susan C. Fisher
April 8, 2008
Education has long been the focus of the state’s efforts and last year the state budgeted more than $11 billion for our public schools, community colleges and universities. As legislators, we value our youth. Several committees meet during the interim to consider issues that affect our children and school systems.
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Joint Select Committee on Arts Education
Last week the Joint Select Committee on Arts Education, which I am a member, met for the first time. We heard presentations from Helga Fasciano and Christie Lynch of the state Department of Public Instruction on arts education in North Carolina. Mary Fulton, a policy analyst from the Education Commission of the States also gave a presentation on arts education. The committee will prepare a report in December.
Joint Legislative Commission on Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation
I serve on the Joint Legislative Commission on Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation which met for the first time last November. We asked several questions about how North Carolina calculates its dropout rate before learning about several successful local programs. The commission has also conducted a series of dropout hearings throughout the state to get constituent input on ways we can solve the decrease the dropout rate. At the last meeting, We focused on the New Schools Project, barriers that prevent girls from graduating, and Communities in Schools initiatives.
The commission awarded grants to 60 groups out of 307 applicants. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 were awarded to school systems, schools, agencies and nonprofits. The commission will also review research on student success, study major middle and high school reform efforts and how they may influence the dropout rate, review the courses required for graduation, and determine whether changes should be made and determine which strategies best help students remain in school when they are at risk of being retained. (more…)