To the Editor:
While we bid farewell to 2010 and welcome the new year, it is apparent one thing will continue: budget shortfalls in states throughout the United States and increasing pressure to cut funding for education. Your recent article “Cutbacks Force Some Early Colleges to Close Down,” (Education Week, Dec. 20, 2010) paints a grim but realistic picture of the funding problems states are facing, even for programs that are making a difference like early colleges.
Here in North Carolina—the state with more early-college schools than any other—state leaders and private-sector partners have shown a commitment to continued investment in these worthy programs. Early positive results from the SERVE Center study cited in the article are strong evidence that these schools in our state are making gains on two key goals: improving outcomes for low-income students and those who would be the first in their families to attend, and developing a highly trained workforce for the new global economy.
The North Carolina New Schools Project is proud to be a partner in North Carolina in fostering these schools’ success and driving innovative change. We hope other states invest, or sustain their investment, in early colleges, and we applaud North Carolina’s leaders for their commitment to early colleges, our students, and the economy of our state.
John D. Denning
Senior Director for Policy and Engagement
North Carolina New Schools Project
A version of this article appeared in the January 19, 2011 edition of Education Week as Praise for N.C.'s Focus on Early-College Schools