Ballard and Lee discuss education policy in North Carolina – EdNC

Sens. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover, and Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga, are co-chairs of both the Senate education and education appropriations committees, and as such, they have a lot of influence over education policy in North Carolina. EducationNC Senior Reporter Alex Granados sat down with them recently to talk about their interest in education, the big issues facing the state, and their vision for the future. The day he sat down with them was the same day that legislative leaders, along with Gov. Roy Cooper, announced a deal to reopen schools to in-person learning for all students in the state. Ballard was one of the Republican senators to speak at the press conference.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Granados: I just want to start generally by asking you about your interest in education. You’re on the education committee. You’re chairing it. I’ve heard you both, and you seem knowledgeable about education, so there must be an interest there. I’m curious where the interest came from.

Lee: My wife and I have four children. It really started when my 20-year-old was in kindergarten. When he went to kindergarten, we just kind of saw the