House forms panel linked to low-income students

North Carolina

Southeast / North Carolina 14 Views

RALEIGH  — The North Carolina House of Representatives gave legislative approval on Thursday to a resolution that will establish a House Study Committee to explore ways to promote access to advanced educational opportunities in public schools for low-income students that demonstrate high academic achievement.

House Resolution 1102 – Study Best Practice/Advanced Ed Opportunities establishes a study committee made-up of six members from the House of Representatives that is appointed upon the recommendation of the Speaker, the Superintendent of Public Instruction (or designee), the Chair of the State Board of Education (or designee), and the President of The University of North Carolina (or designee).

The committee is tasked with studying and determining the cost associated with establishing educational opportunities across the State for low-income, high-achieving students.

“It is imperative to explore the best practices for identifying, teaching, and supporting economically disadvantaged, high-achieving students across the State. Once this group of students receive the attention they deserve, they will begin to excel in the classroom and begin contributing to society in meaningful ways,” said Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. (D-Forsyth), the first primary sponsor of the resolution to establish the Study Committee.

Hanes also commented, “By passing this legislation we are giving low-income students an opportunity to partake in postsecondary studies, ultimately giving them the means to break from the ravages of poverty.”

Rep. Debra Conrad (R-Forsyth), a primary sponsor of the resolution and the chairman of the Education K-12 Committee, when speaking on the resolution from the House floor stated, “We want to ensure that each and every student rises to their highest potential and this group [committee] will study the best way they can achieve success.” Additionally, Conrad commented, “Every student, especially those from economically challenged families, who demonstrate high achievement and self-motivation should be allowed to excel and break the cycle of poverty.”

Rep. Hugh Blackwell (R-Burke), a primary sponsor of the resolution stated, “For more than 30 years the nation has talked about and spent money to raise achievement levels for low-income students. Except in certain limited circumstances, it really hasn’t worked. My hope is this [Study] committee can identify best practices that will work with wide success if faithfully implemented by educators with the appropriate skills and passion.”

Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg), while speaking on the resolution from the House floor stated, “It is very, very important that we take the best that we can get and that we break this vicious cycle of poverty that has plagued our communities. As we’ve said before, the number one equalizer, out of poverty and out of dire straits, is education.”

The Study Committee is instructed to outline their findings and proposed legislation in a final report, which is due on or before Dec. 31, the termination date of the Study Committee.

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