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Recent early education news and updates

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Who’s in charge of early education in NC? Soon it could be three offices in Raleigh

April 21, 2017
Lynn Bonner
The News & Observer

The state has two offices that focus on education for young children, and it may soon have three as the feud between the state superintendent and the State Board of Education plays out in the legislature.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson is protesting limitations on his ability to hire staff at the state education department. Two House bills that would give Johnson more of his own appointees moved through a House committee Thursday, though a lawmaker warned the legislature could be contributing to the birth of competing camps at the state Department of Public Instruction.

One House bill would give Johnson the power to appoint a new associate superintendent to be in charge of the staff of a new Office of Early Childhood Education.

The Department of Public Instruction, which Johnson supervises, has an existing Office of Early Learning that focuses on pre-kindergarten through third grade. The state Department of Health and Human Services has a Division of Child Development and Early Education.