The health and welfare of public education in North Carolina is being challenged on a number of fronts. Public Schools First NC has identified several areas of particular importance and concern. Learning more about these issues will help you advocate for what each child needs to succeed in school and in life.
Privatizing Our Public Schools
Privatization of public schools refers to efforts by policy makers to shift public funds into the private sector. Many think of privatization as the “corporate takeover” of our public schools because well-funded corporations and corporate leaders often lead this coordinated effort that could alter how America’s children are educated. Learn more.
Teacher Pipeline and Teacher Pay
The teacher pipeline is an interconnected system that extends from recruiting individuals into the profession, developing them as teaching professionals, and retaining them through retirement. Teacher pay is an important aspect of the teacher pipeline and in NC it has failed to keep up with inflation or the rest of the nation. For more than a decade, the teacher pipeline in NC has been shrinking as fewer teachers enter the profession and more retire early or leave to pursue other careers. Learn more.
School Vouchers and Educational Savings Accounts
School vouchers are taxpayer-funded dollars that families can use to pay educational expenses for their children if they opt out of public schools. Educational Savings Accounts are created when money is taken from the public schools and given directly to parents who opt out of them to use for educational expenses at their discretion. Both systems damage public education by pulling taxpayer dollars away from public schools and giving them to unaccountable private schools. Learn more.
As of October 2021, approximately 130,000 students currently attend North Carolina’s 204 charter schools, while traditional public schools educate more than 1.4 million children. Seven new charter schools opened for the 2020-2021 school year and six additional charter schools opened in the fall of the 2021 school year. Two charter schools had their charter revoked during the 2020-21 school year. Learn more.
The basis of equality of opportunity is belief that every American child, no matter the circumstances of his or her background, deserves a fair start in life. Public education can give even the poorest child a chance to excel through hard work, individual initiative, and the nurturing guidance of excellent teachers. Learn more.
Schools Our Students Deserve
Schools our students deserve rely on dedicated, experienced, career teachers. Those teachers need better pay, higher per pupil funding for more classroom resources, career protections, and the right to speak freely on behalf of our kids. If we don’t treat teaching as a profession, we won’t have professionals in our classrooms. Learn more.
Innovative School District
The Innovative School District (ISD) was plagued with controversy since its creation in 2016 and was finally eliminated per the 2021-23 state budget. Southside-Ashpole Elementary School, the only school operating as part of the ISD, will transition back to Robeson County Schools prior to the end of the 2022-23 school year. Learn more.