Expand The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program To Include All NC Public Colleges & Universities – Especially Our HBCU’s

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The above is from WRAL this past January.

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This past spring Mark Johnson released his budget recommendations for the next two-year cycle for the North Carolina General Assembly to use in their shaky investment in NC’s public schools.

He published those recommendations on his website. And here is an interesting segment:

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There is a $750K request for TeachNC which was described by Kelly Hinchcliffe  in WRAL.com.

His second initiative is a collaboration among the Department of Public Instruction, BEST NC and Teach.org, with support from the Belk Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Coastal Credit Union. “Teach NC,” launching this spring, is a “public-private teacher appreciation campaign to better align the image of the teaching profession with the fruitful, fulfilling career it is and develop a statewide teacher-recruitment system to attract the next generation of North Carolina teachers.”

Right above that “request” is a line for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, whose current version is but a shadow of the program that put so many great teachers in our NC schools. Johnson suggested “expanding” the schools participating from 5 to 8.

This latest iteration of the Teaching Fellow Program only accommodates 160 potential teachers at “only one of five public or private universities to be selected by an appointed committee by Nov. 15” for only select fields. This comes nowhere to replacing a program that yearly helped train 500 potential teachers at multiple campuses  in a variety of subjects who were for 25 years also walking advertisements for teaching in the state that was at one time committed to public schools.

$750K to the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program would be a more worthwhile investment than a public relations campaign run by private entities who would use taxpayer money to try and spin how badly the NCGA has treated the profession of teaching in public schools.

But imagine if just one-tenth of the budget surplus that Phil Berger and Tim Moore have been bragging about was reinvested into the Teaching Fellow Program and expanded it to beyond what it used to be to include all state-supported colleges and universities with emphasis on our public Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

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Because this state needs more good teachers. We especially need more teachers of color to whom our students can look up to in the most impressionable times of their lives.

Studies show that minority who have teachers of color achieve more in school.

Seems fairly straightforward.