A Crossroads in Education
My parents instilled in me the belief that education was the key to success and prosperity. With it, I could do anything I wanted to do. I am eternally grateful to the teachers who worked hard to provide me the knowledge and skills to be successful in life.
North Carolina’s public education system was once recognized as among the best in the United States. Under the leadership of Governor Hunt, our state made great strides in teacher pay and student performance. The nation viewed us as a model of the right way to approach public education.
What has happened? North Carolina no longer has a reputation as an innovator in education. Business leaders are beginning to question our state’s commitment to providing the sound, basic education our state’s Constitution mandates. Teacher salaries are stagnant, class sizes are going up, and teacher assistant positions have been nearly eliminated. Tax dollars are being shifted to privately run schools with virtually no accountability, as our public schools are being forced to do more with less.
A recent poll released by High Point University found that “two-thirds (66 percent) of state residents said they thought public education in North Carolina was headed in the wrong direction.” It’s plain to see that we cannot continue down this path.
North Carolina must embrace a long term plan to prioritize public education. This plan of action must include:
- Paying our teachers what they deserve. Increasing pay across the board and eliminating the $50,000 salary cap on our most experienced teachers. The plan should schedule increases that ensure we will reach or exceed the national average within 5 years.
- Increasing support for Pre-Kindergarten programs. Only 21% of 4 year olds are enrolled in NC Pre-K, although it has been proven to provide our young students with significant gains in reading and math scores.
- Reinstatement of the successful NC Teaching Fellows program to reverse the 30% decrease of student enrollment that we have seen in Teacher Education Programs since 2010. We should foster and support our teachers of tomorrow.
- Providing current textbooks so every child in the classroom has access to the learning materials they need to succeed.
- Allowing our teachers to foster creativity in the classroom, and not be limited by excessive testing.
North Carolina has reached a crossroads when it comes to public education. The decisions voters make this year will have longstanding effects on the future of our children and our state. Will you stand with me and pay our teachers what they deserve? Support me in my campaign to provide our students with the resources they must have if they are to be successful. Visit my campaign page and sign up today to stay up to date.
Together, we will put North Carolina’s education system back on track.