Looking At The Gerrymandered Application Process For The State Supt.’s Parent Advisory Commission

Below are screen shots of the application process for the Parent Advisory Commission set up by Superintendent Catherine Truitt.

Six parents from eight different “education regions” will be appointed from the application process to “help put together recommendations for elected officials and policy makers in North Carolina.”

They will also have “direct input” to Truitt.

If the math pans out each “region” gets six members. Only 2 of those singular region members are guaranteed to be parents for students in traditional public schools. That number becomes three if the at-large selection is a parent of a traditional public school student, but that is not guaranteed and that member also has to come from one of the bigger counties. 94 of NC’s 100 counties do not make that list.

Of those six region members, at least three will not be parents of traditional public school students. The argument will be made that one parent will be a charter “public” school parent, but charter schools are governed differently than traditional public schools. Charter schools are not overseen by local school boards.

There are eight regions. Of the 48 members on the commission, it is conceivable that only 33% of the members represent traditional public schools when well over 80% of students in schools (or homeschools) attend traditional public schools.

Seems a little if not a lot skewed.

References are asked for and short answers (some may say short essays) are required. That means only people who have the time and the technology to be on this commission could even attempt to apply much less serve.

Approximately 25% of our students in traditional public schools live at or below the poverty level. The pandemic showed how badly we need broadband connectivity for all people in the state, especially rural areas.

What is evident by this application process and the proposed makeup of this Parent Advisory Commission is that it is a publicity stunt disguised as a “representative” body of concerned citizens appointed through a gerrymandered process.

And as a teacher and parent, it is hard to look at this and then look at the Teacher Working Conditions Survey and realize that I have absolutely no way of being able to even articulate my thoughts and concerns on that survey.

But here, I could give answers that will be looked over to display a profile that might or might not fit an agenda in this political landscape that may or may not be chosen to serve on a volunteer commission that eliminates many people’s opportunities because of their financial situations.