From WNCT (8/11/09): Changes to state laws could mean changes in the classroom for almost 1.5 million students returning to public school this fall. The Department of Public Instruction listed several of the changes in a news release Tuesday. First, the age requirement for kindergarten has been pushed back. Only children who turn 5 years old by Aug. 31 can register for kindergarten in public schools.
The change makes about 13,000 students ineligible to register this year, but lawmakers hope that will reduce drop out rates later.
Other changes involve high school freshmen. They'll be required to complete the Future-Ready Core Course of Study before they can get their high school diploma.
"Much time and effort went into developing the Future-Ready Core and the Board is excited that students are now able to use it as they select the courses that will best prepare them for college learning and careers in the 21st century," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison.
There could also be larger class sizes for grades 4 through 12, because of state budget cuts. Some schools might layoff teachers. The state also eliminated funding for new texbooks as well as literacy coaches in middle schools.
"North Carolina is known as a national leader in education innovation," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Even with limited resources, our talented administrators and teachers will rise to the challenge, get creative and make sure our students and schools continue to shine this year."