SOE News

School of Education dean named to governor’s education commission

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the School of Education, was named by Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday to the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education.

The commission, created by Cooper through executive order, will focus on how North Carolina meets its duties as outlined in rulings from court cases that require the state to provide a “sound and basic” education to all students.

“I look forward to serving on the Governor's commission," said Dean Fouad Abd-El-Khalick. "The most important factor in providing excellent educational opportunities is having highly effective teachers and administrators in our schools. I am confident the commission of accomplished individuals will help frame ideas that serve this goal.”

The commission includes 18 members appointed by the Governor from the fields of education, business, government, law, health care, psychology and counseling, and public safety. Abd-El-Khalick serves as the higher education representative on the commission.

The commission takes its name from landmark rulings in the court cases Leandro v. North Carolina in 1996 and Hoke County Board of Education v. North Carolina in 2004. The Leandro ruling requires North Carolina to identify specific resources needed to ensure that all children, including those who are at-risk or from rural and underserved communities, have access to “a sound, basic education.”

“All North Carolina children have a constitutional right to a quality public education that prepares them for the jobs and opportunities of the future,” Gov. Cooper said in a news release. “This commission of experts will help identify how to improve our state’s public schools so that all students in this state receive the education they need to thrive.”

The governor’s office said the commission will take a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary approach to tackling the three key areas highlighted in the original Leandro ruling to ensure North Carolina is meeting its constitutional duty: 1) Staffing each classroom with a competent, well-trained teacher; 2) Staffing each school with a competent, well-trained principal; and 3) Identifying the resources necessary to ensure that all children, including those at-risk, have an equal opportunity to obtain a sound, basic education.

The commission will work in conjunction with an independent consultant appointed by the parties to the Leandro case to help with the commission’s review and assessment, the governor’s office said.

To learn more about the commission’s mission, read the executive order that created it here.