Our state’s public schools serve more than 1.5 million students and employ nearly 200,000 faculty and staff. Public education in North Carolina ranks near the bottom in key areas like per pupil spending, math, and science proficiency as well as in teacher pay.
We must hire educators that will serve the needs of our students and make sure that each school has the necessary resources to succeed. These responsibilities belong to all North Carolinians and I have the audacity to believe that we can fulfill these obligations together.
Schools are microcosms of our society. Just as technology evolves to change our daily lives, it is up to us to upgrade the way we view and approach PK-12 education across the Tar Heel State. We must:
- Address the academic and social-emotional learning needs of students
- Provide more targeted support to underperforming schools
- Strategically target funding to rural schools and those persistently impacted by race and poverty
- Enhance school safety
- Refocus on academic and instructional needs of each students
- Develop and implement trauma-responsive practices to address adverse childhood experiences
- Improve teacher diversity through a strategic focus on recruitment and retention
- Provide equity of opportunity to students in rural schools
- Continue efforts to improve teacher and principal compensation
- Raise wages for support personnel to a minimum of $15/hour
- Create more opportunities to support and connect teachers and principals in rural schools