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The New Reality Roundup | Week 166

It is week 166 of our new reality and we are thinking about why policy changes that empower families get labeled as “emergencies” by politicians, while systems that consistently fail kids do not.

“Is it an emergency when you’re losing an argument?” asks J.D. Tuccille in an article for Reason. “North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper thinks it is; he declared ‘a state of emergency for public education’ because state lawmakers propose what he calls ‘extreme legislation’ regarding education choice … It’s worth noting that Cooper declared a state of emergency not just because he’s losing an argument with lawmakers, but also because he’s losing an argument with the people of North Carolina.”

The legislation in question, the product of eight years of grassroots advocacy by CarolinaCAN Executive Director Marcus Brandon and supported by 73 percent of North Carolina families, would provide all families in the Tar Heel state with the same opportunities to find a school that best fits their children’s needs as wealthy families now enjoy (including the governor’s own family). It provides up to $7,600 in educational aid per child, with low-income families receiving the most aid and wealthy families receiving the least. “That doesn’t sound like much of an emergency,” Tuccille notes.

Perhaps more striking than declaring Marcus’ policy success “a state of emergency,” is what Gov. Cooper doesn’t consider an emergency. “Never has a ‘State of Emergency’ been declared for black and brown kids being 30-40 points behind in every category,” Marcus writes. This educational emergency only rises to the level of a political emergency when taking families’ “money with no accountability is about to end.”

Last time, we talked with HawaiiKidsCAN’s David Miyashiro about new wellness supports for students, computer science education and other Aloha State innovations and we explored the findings from a new EdChoice poll of America’s teens. This week we look at what it will take to end educational redlining and check in on new developments in educational innovation.

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School choice advances in the Tar Heel state

I am writing to share an exciting update from North Carolina where school choice is on the march.

As you may know, our CarolinaCAN effort is led by an amazing executive director: Marcus Brandon. From his time in the state legislature through his eight years as the leader of our campaign in the Tar Heel state, Marcus has made expanding choices a core element of his vision for the future.