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This Issue
NC parents and teachers push back against class-size law
Early Childhood in Rural North Carolina
Year 1 in the books for Cooper with mixed results
Senators and Trump Inch Toward DACA Deal, but a Wall Divides Them
Running On Empty: CHIP Funding Could Run Out Jan. 19 For Some States
Putting Kids First in 2018
N.C. public school funding needs to change

Top Story
NC parents and teachers push back against class-size law
An unfunded mandate for reducing class size in North Carolina public schools is drawing resistance.

In 2016, a law requiring reductions for K-3 classrooms went into effect, leaving districts across the state to figure how to comply with the law. As a result, schools have been forced to reassign students, lose teachers and classroom spaces for specialized classes, increase class size in higher grades, or forfeit space for pre-K services.
Herbert White. “NC parents and teachers push back against class-size law” The Charlotte Post.

State and Local
Early Childhood in Rural North Carolina
NCECF was excited to partner with the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance on a report, released by the Alliance’s workgroup on Early Childhood, examining how outcomes for children in rural and non-rural communities differ on key Pathways to Grade Level Reading measures of success. Early Childhood in Rural North Carolina: Assessing Rural Communities on Pathways to Grade Level Reading finds that children in rural communities are likely to experience challenges in measures that impact third-grade reading at a higher rate than their non-rural peers.
NC Early Childhood Foundation Press Release.
Year 1 in the books for Cooper with mixed results
here was no honeymoon phase for Gov. Roy Cooper. Even before he was sworn in as governor minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, 2017, he was already involved in litigation with the General Assembly’s Republican majority.9
Twelve months later, Cooper and his allies are still fighting the legislative majority in court. The state board of elections has no members because of one lawsuit. Legislative candidates don’t know exactly what their election districts will look like because of another, with less than a month and a half before filing begins in those races.
Travis Fain. “Year 1 in the books for Cooper with mixed results” WRAL

National
Senators and Trump Inch Toward DACA Deal, but a Wall Divides Them
Four months after President Trump rescinded an Obama-era program shielding young unauthorized immigrants, the White House and Senate negotiators are inching toward a deal that would restore the protections, while also beefing up border security.
But Democrats and Republicans remain divided over the shape and scope of the package — and especially over Mr. Trump’s proposal to build a wall at the Mexican border.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg. “Senators and Trump Inch Toward DACA Deal, but a Wall Divides Them” New York Times.
Running On Empty: CHIP Funding Could Run Out Jan. 19 For Some States
Some states are facing a mid-January loss of funding for their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) despite spending approved by Congress in late December that was expected to keep the program running for three months, federal health officials said Friday.
The $2.85 billion was supposed to fund states’ CHIP programs through March 31. But some states will start running out of money after Jan. 19, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS did not say which states are likely to be affected first.
Phil Galewitz. “Running On Empty: CHIP Funding Could Run Out Jan. 19 For Some States” Kaiser Health News.

Opinion
Putting Kids First in 2018
I have a New Year’s resolution for North Carolina’s local, state, and federal policymakers:
In 2018, prioritize children in every decision you make and champion their well-being with determination, time, and resources.
Everyday, policymakers have the opportunity to improve the lives of our state’s children by investing in early education, expanding access to high-quality health care, and growing economic opportunity for hard-working families. This requires not only making the right decision when it’s time to vote on a bill, but also being proactive about promoting a policy agenda that builds a strong foundation for child success and well-being.
Michelle Hughes. “Putting Kids First in 2018” NC Child Blog.
N.C. public school funding needs to change
I’ve been to cocktail parties; I know from experience how uninteresting school finance policy is to other people. However, it seems a lot of people are thinking about how the state funds public education and that is a good thing: public education consumes almost 40 percent of the state budget and provides for economic productivity, democratic participation, and a higher quality of life for North Carolina residents. As citizens we should care about how our public schools are funded.
Erica Houck. “N.C. public school funding needs to change” News & Observer.

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