A newly formed committee, created by House Speaker Tim Moore, is tasked with looking at ways to “reinvent K-12” schools in order to better meet the needs of school children.
The House Select Committee On An Education System For North Carolina’s Future could spend up to two years examining issues, making recommendations, and generating legislation.
While initial meetings have taken place in Raleigh and featured government officials, the committee is planning meetings across the state. The next meeting is scheduled for March 7th in Asheboro and will have an hour of presentations with a Q&A with local school officials, and then an hour of public comment.
Lt. Governor Mark Robinson attended the House Select Committee meeting on February 21st and focused heavily on discipline. Robinson advocated for more police involvement in public school matters, saying, “Bad actors should be removed from the classroom and given to the proper authorities whoever that authority might be, whether that be a law enforcement official or a social worker”.
Robinson made these remarks after the committee had discussed the disparity in suspensions of white students versus students of color, specifically Black male students. Black males make up roughly 13% of the public school student population, and yet they are suspended at the highest rate.
Robinson advocating for police involvement in disciplining students was particularly striking when it was clarified that the overwhelming majority of these suspensions were for unacceptable behaviors, such as talking back to teachers – not for criminal activity.
Some concerns have been raised regarding the makeup of this committee; particularly in regard to the disparity between the racial makeup of this committee and the racial makeup of North Carolina students.
Roughly 54% of students in traditional public schools in NC are students of color, while the House Select Committee is made up of nine members – eight of which are white. Finally, it’s vital to note that at all of these meetings so far, the landmark Leandro court decision has not been brought up a single time, despite the fact that it may provide the most obvious framework for developing a better education system