Rebuilding Public Education

Reinvest in our Public Schools

Over the past several years, North Carolina’s kids have paid the price for education policies that are poorly crafted and often designed specifically to dismantle public education. We need to start rebuilding our schools with policies that provide the significant investment our kids deserve.

This includes measures that help expand universal pre-K, as well as policies that prevent unchecked growth of charter schools and private school vouchers from diluting the our collective investment in district schools. It also means providing the funding and support local school districts need to implement policy changes and initiatives effectively, such as intervention programs for struggling readers.

Investing in our public schools also means investing in our teachers. In addition to raising teacher pay to align with the national average, we should seek out opportunities and incentives that ensure North Carolina is a premier environment for current and future teachers. This includes lifting the state ban on collective bargaining agreements for public-sector employees.

Education is a Right; Not a Product

Public education is not a commodity. It’s a community promise we make to each other so that every child gets a fair shot at success in life, regardless of who they are, where they come from, who their parents are, or what they want to be when they grow up.

In recent years, however, there has been a tendency treat our schools like businesses competing in a free market. This mentality is problematic and contrary to the mission of public education. Our kids and our teachers deserve policies that encourage collaboration, teamwork, and systemic improvement over competition.

Engage with Educators and Experts

Our representatives should craft education policy transparently and with as much input from teachers and education experts as possible. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee is one of many possible forums for having these types of productive conversations, but we should also create a local educators advisory group to help ensure the bills we’re passing reflect teachers voices and address their concerns.

Reimagine School Performance Grading

The system we use to grade our schools perpetuates the long-standing correlation between student achievement and socioeconomic status. More importantly, however, it doesn’t accurately reflect the transformative work happening in our classrooms. We should update our school performance grading to account for these factors by crafting a new grading plan with the guidance of our teachers and education experts.

Increase accountability

We should adjust charter school policies to ensure all charter schools are fulfilling the purpose the state legislature originally envisioned for them and not just exacerbating long-standing issues like socioeconomic segregation or diluting our investment in public schools. We should also take steps to ensure the same high standards of accountability apply to any school that receives public funding, be it a traditional public school, a charter school, a virtual academy, or even a private school receiving Opportunity Scholarship grants.

Are you registered to vote?

Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. You can find more information on registration and voting by visiting the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

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Contribute Today

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