We've all learned to dread seeing North Carolina make national news. Unfortunately, this week our state is back in the news, and this time it is the state of our education system that has drawn the interest of the New York Times and U.S. News.
U.S. News has reported on moves the NCGA has made during this session to allow the break up of large urban school districts. For a long time, North Carolina has been consolidating its school districts, in part to move towards greater integration in schools. NC Policy Watch notes that the four districts who will be granted the power under HB 514 to open and operate their own charter schools, with admission limited to local residents, are at least 70% white, compared with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district, in which only 29% of students are white. Critics of the move argue that it will lead to greater levels of segregation in our schools.
And what else? Oh yes, the New York Times highlighted North Carolina's school funding issues, using West Greene Elementary in Snow Hill. Greene County is one of the poorest counties in the state and only three counties in NC spend less on public education. The NYT reports on the issues faced by the school, issues that are common to schools across the state, with teachers making up the shortfall in funding by providing their own supplies, and cuts to vital staff members including librarian staff.
Why are we campaigning to get out the vote in North Carolina? We want North Carolina to make news for good reasons, not bad. Care about these issues? Vote, vote, and make sure everyone you know votes too!