MARY ANN WOLF: Accelerating investment and innovation in education –

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Mary Ann Wolf’s “Final Word” from the Jan. 30, 2021 broadcast of Education Matters: “COVID’s Impact on Education.” Wolf is president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Much of the discussion in education has started to look toward the transition and recovery from COVID-19. It is encouraging that we can begin to consider policies and resources that should be in place so that educators, schools, and districts can be sure that each student has the academic, social, and emotional learning support they need, especially after this year.

However, these discussions also come at a time when school districts across North Carolina continue to operate in hybrid and remote learning settings — and safety for all remains a major concern. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 and the inequities exacerbated by the pandemic were top of mind as educators, policymakers, state and district leaders, students, and other education stakeholders gathered virtually this week for our annual Eggs & Issues event hosted by the Public School Forum.

In hearing from a member of the N.C. General Assembly, an educator and local school district superintendents we are reminded in a very profound way how COVID-19 has impacted our students, educators and communities. We are also reminded of the heroic efforts of our educators, schools and families to support our students every day.

As a state, we are at a critical moment in which we must take great