Bells are ringing across North Carolina as some 1.5 million children start another school year. Can you remember your back-to-school experiences? There was always a bit of anxiety and excitement to learn who would be your teacher and what friends were in your class.

This year’s school start is cloaked with questions. Will children be able to attend all year in person without masks and social distancing? Can they recoup the estimated 6 months to a year they have fallen behind grade level expectations? Will the N.C. Supreme Court rule that the state is required to pay an additional $750 million in funding, as was agreed by the Leandro settlement? If so, will the state comply?

Tom Campbell is a Hall of Fame North Carolina Broadcaster and columnist who has covered North Carolina public policy issues since 1965.