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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .

SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY

STUDENT SAFETY

The 2010-11 Consolidated Data Report found that school violence figures increased slightly from 11,608 total acts in 2009-10 to 11,657 total acts in 2010-11. The rate per 1,000 students decreased slightly from 7.97 to 7.95. It's important to note that 35 percent (896 schools) of all schools reported no acts of crime and violence and 39 percent (1,000 schools) of all schools reported five or fewer acts. As in most years, three possession-related crimes were the most frequently reported acts: possession of a controlled substance, possession of a weapon excluding firearms and powerful explosives, and assault on school personnel. These three acts made up 86 percent of all reported acts.

In addition, the 2010-11 Consolidated Data Report found that out-of-school suspensions and expulsions also decreased in 2010-11. For short-term suspensions (10 days or fewer), the decrease was 3.9 percent, from 277,206 in 2009-10 to 266,488 in 2010-11. Long-term suspensions (11 days or more) decreased 22.2 percent from 3,368 to 2,621. Expulsions declined to 69 from 88 the previous year - a 21.6 percent decrease.


SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

In the 2007-08 school year, State Board of Education approved nutrition standards for school meals, a la carte foods, and beverages and items served in the After School Snack Program went into effect for elementary schools statewide. The nutrition standards promote gradual changes to increase fruits and vegetables and whole grain products, and to decrease foods high in total fat, trans fat, saturated fat and sugar.

In addition, 143 elementary schools across the state are participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program thanks to a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is the ninth consecutive year North Carolina has been awarded the grant, which enables schools to serve a wide variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables by providing fruit baskets inside the classroom, kiosks in the hallways, and other innovative approaches to give students the opportunity to grab a fresh fruit or vegetable snack throughout the school day. Participation in this program also promotes a healthier school environment.

All local boards of education, as required by North Carolina 2007 Session law, have adopted, implemented and are enforcing written policies that prohibit use of all tobacco products by any person in public school buildings, on public school campuses, and in or on any other school property owned or operated by the school district. The policies also prohibit use of all tobacco products by persons attending school-sponsored events at other locations when students or school personnel are present.


FACILITY FUNDING

In 1996, North Carolina residents approved a $1.8 billion state bond issue based on an earlier survey of public school facility needs. However, in 2005, a new survey was conducted. Instead of showing diminishing needs, local school systems identified $9.8 billion in current and projected facility needs.