69 Schools “Qualify” To Be Taken Over By The Innovative School District – Not A Single One Is A Charter School

Yesterday, DPI released a list of 69 schools in the state that would qualify for inclusion in the Innovation School District.

isdschoollist

The “School Performance Scores” for each of these “chosen” schools ranges from 25 to 40. Actually only one school is below 30.

25 – 1 school
30 – 2 schools
31 – 4 schools
32 – 1 school
33 – 7 schools
34 – 8 schools
35 – 4 schools
36 – 7 schools
37 – 10 schools
38 – 4 schools
39 – 14 schools
40 – 7 schools

AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE SCHOOLS ON THAT LIST IS A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL.

THERE IS NOT A SINGLE CHARTER SCHOOL ON THERE. And there are many who would qualify based on their School Performance Grades and Scores.

isdschoollist3

In fact, there are five charter schools that have a score below 30.

There are those two virtual charter schools that have not very well in the past, but were renewed by the state for another four years and championed by Mark Johnson. Here are their grades and growth by subset groups.

reforms3reforms2

reforms1

NC Virtual Academy:

1 – F
6 – D’s
2- C’s
5 – Not Met’s
1- Met

NC Cyber Academy:

4 – F’s
4 – D’s
1- B
6 – Not Met’s
0- Met

Here is the only school that has currently been serviced by the Innovative School District:

isdschoollist2

reforms4

Southside Ashpole Elementary:
4 – F’s
Everything else is an “I” which stands for “Insufficient Data.”
1 – Not Met’s
2 – Met

Here is the data of charter schools versus traditional schools as far as growth is concerned (courtesy of Kris Nordstrom).

reforms6

So why are there no charter schools designated to be taken over by a failed reform? Ask Mark Johnson.

But he’s unusually quiet right now. I have only received one email from him in the past three weeks.

Dan Forest’s Education Platform: Puritanically Privatizing NC’s Public School System With Vouchers

Today, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest released his plan for expanded school choice as part of his platform in running for governor.

Actually, Forest has been running for governor for years as most of his actions as the state’s “second in command” has been focused on campaigning against the current governor, Roy Cooper.

While Forest’s complete education platform revolves around 4 main cogs, he chose today to mostly reveal his wish to provide any family in NC a chance to use a voucher to go to a private school – in other words, expand the Opportunity Grant Program for all NC students.

The News & Observer reported,

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest wants to let every North Carolina family, regardless of their income, be able to receive a state-funded voucher to attend a private school.

Forest made school choice the central piece of his education plan that he released Thursday morning in his campaign to win the Republican nomination for governor in 2020. Forest said he’d continue to give priority for low-income families to receive the vouchers through a weighted selection lottery but would expand the eligibility criteria “to allow every family in North Carolina the chance to choose a school that works for them.”

“Parents should have a choice in education,” Forest said in one of a series of videos released Thursday to accompany his education platform. “They should have a choice where their students actually attend school.”

Simply put, Forest wants taxpayers to “foot the bill” to send any student to a private school in North Carolina.

Many public school advocates, especially the teacher who writes this blog, have argued that the Opportunity Grants are a detriment to public schools in that it takes public money meant for public schools and gives it to private, unregulated entities which can practice admission standards that would never be allowed in public schools and can offer curricula that is not aligned with preparing students for 21st success.

In fact, most all of the vouchers in NC are used to attend religious schools.

93% of vouchers used in NC when a 2017 Duke study was published went to entities that are affiliated with churches and are possibly housed within churches that do not have to give tax dollars due to religious exemptions.

And don’t forget that we as a state are already expanding vouchers by $10 million year until the year 2026-2027.

Under Forest’s plan, that total will probably go up.

Furthermore, the voucher system that Forest is championing is considered the least transparent in the entire country.

Duke study

There has been no valid method developed to show how effective vouchers have been in raising student achievement. Even the now famous NC State Study that many like PEFNC have pointed to in order to validate a shallow narrative concluded that the Opportunity Grants were intentionally nontransparent.

From  WUNC :

study

That sample they used? Over half were from established Catholic schools in NC which represent in reality a very small percentage of the voucher recipient pool. In fact, that study has been attacked so much from non-academics and academics alike that it begs to ask why it was done in the first place. That’s how many holes it has.

But Forest wants to give every student in NC a voucher to attend a private school. And as a member of the State Board of Education and a champion of school choice in NC for years, he knows damn well that most vouchers go to religious schools.

The quote below was spoken by the presumptive gubernatorial nominee for the Republican Party in NC’s 2020 election cycle at a church service over the summer. And just like others have done in the recent past, the use of a pulpit to campaign in even the most veiled of ways is not beyond Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. He has not been shy about his faith, and he has not been shy about mixing it with politics.

“No other nation, my friends, has ever survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today, because of a lack of assimilation, because of this division, and because of this identity politics. But no other nation has ever been founded on the principles of Jesus Christ, that begin the redemption and reconciliation through the atoning blood of our savior.” – Lt. Gov. Dan Forest

Look at that word choice.

  • “Surviving diversity?”
  • “Surviving multiculturalism?”
  • “Lack of assimilation?”
  • “Identity politics?”

And look at the video.

 

How can that not be taken as an “us/ them” statement that screams opposition and “otherness?” How can that not be taken as a denouncement of our diverse society? How can that not be taken as an attack on those who are not white and Christian?

It’s rather appropriate that our “founding fathers” made sure in the Constitution to separate church and state and literally in the same breath established the freedom of the press.

And Forest should not forget that those people who founded the nation were hell-bent on not even approaching the slavery issue. In fact, it was agreed by the “founding fathers” that the issue of slavery was not to be dealt with for years to come.

The fact that Dan Forest wants to extend a program that has almost been used exclusively to send students to nontransparent religious schools to every student in the state can not simply be summed up as school choice.

It’s mixing church and state on a large scale using tax payer dollars of which none come from churches as they are already tax-exempt.

Reminds this English teacher of a time when there was no separation of church and state.

Image result for the crucible

Wonder if Forest has ever read this play.

 

 

Lawmakers Who Fully Fund Themselves But Not The Public Education System

The following is from StrongerNC:

The North Carolina Constitution addresses a right to education in two places:  

  • Article I, Section 15 says: “The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.”  
  • Article IX: Education, has ten Sections. Of note is Section 2 which addresses the duty of the state and local government to provide a uniform system of free public schools “…wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students.”

There are also state laws that make education a right in North Carolina. One of them is N.C.G.S. 115C-1, which says:

“A general and uniform system of free public schools shall be provided throughout the State, wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students, in accordance with the provisions of Article IX of the Constitution of North Carolina…”

These provisions were tested in court when families from low wealth rural school districts sued the state for not providing an adequate education as required by the state Constitution (Leandro vs State). In 1997, the NC Supreme Court found in favor of the plaintiffs, yet to this date the state has been unable to remedy the situation after two decades of trying to figure out how to provide an equitable and adequate education, regardless of zip code.

Some progress was finally made in 2018, when Superior Court Judge David Lee appointed an education based non-profit firm, West Ed, to conduct a study and produce a comprehensive report with strategies for implementation by March 31, 2019. It would focus on three elements:

  1. Qualified Teachers
  2. Experienced Leaders
  3. Adequate Resources

Wendy Lecker, an attorney at the Education Law Center writes:

“In recent years, North Carolina public schools have experienced reductions in education funding, which, in turn, have triggered cuts in essential resources, including teachers, support staff and programs, especially in schools serving high concentrations of low-income students and students at risk of academic failure…”

Remember that the Leandro case documents are still under sealed orders but they may  be released in the future.

Consider that we as a state still spend less on per pupil expenditures when adjusted for inflation than we did before the Great Recession.

Consider that many of the lawmakers in this state make sure that they are fully funded.

From WRAL on November 6, 2019:

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger ‘s political campaign is buying him a home in Raleigh, and the State Board of Elections told him that’s allowed under North Carolina campaign finance law.

Berger’s campaign has paid at least $55,000 since August 2016 to a company he created, YPD Properties LLC. YPD is a property management company, and it appears to be a pass-through entity for campaign rent payments that ultimately pay the mortgage for a townhouse near downtown that Berger, R-Rockingham, and his wife bought in May 2016.

And from WRAL on October 9, 2019:

A powerful state legislator borrowed half a million dollars last year from a man later indicted and accused of trying to bribe another state official.

House Rules Chairman David Lewis said his farm in Harnett County needed help, and he turned to a friend and fellow farmer, John Gray. Gray loaned him $500,000 in June 2018 for what was supposed to be four months.

Deeds of trust filed in the deal show that Lewis and his wife, along with their farm and property company, put up land in four North Carolina counties as collateral. The loan has not been repaid, and Gray has not foreclosed on the properties as the deeds indicate he could.

According to both Lewis and Berger, what they have done to make themselves “fully funded” is completely legal.

Making sure that public schools are fully funded is mandated by the very state constitution that these two lawmakers are sworn to uphold.

But both have been more than willing to prolong the summer session of the NCGA while keeping teachers and education hostage just to see if they can get a veto override vote without everyone present.

money

When Those Who Shun Democracy Also Legislate Our Public Schools – The Video All North Carolinians Should See

You want to know why the North Carolina General Assembly is so dysfunctional?

Just look at the video below.

And the older man who speaks in response is Sen. Jerry Tillman.

Many public education advocates know Tillman. But for those who do not:

Sen. Jerry Tillman is a former teacher, coach, and administrator in public schools who retired long ago. Now is he one of the biggest champions of reforming the very public school system from which he gets his pension. Those reforms are not good for our public schools. They favor privatization and opaque transparency of charter schools.

He made that perfectly clear on Feb. 23rd, 2011, when he was shown on a video posted by Rob Schofield on the ncpolicywatch.org website fielding a question that expressed concern over whether lower-income kids could have equal chances to attend charter schools. His response was indicative of the exclusionary attitude he embraces.

Tillman said, “It’s certainly okay if they don’t go there [the charter school]. They can go to their public schools. They can get their free and reduced price lunch. And they can do that. But the charter school itself and the commission must decide what they can do and when they can do it financially. And that’s where we are now and that’s where we’re gonna’ be and I’m certainly for that.”

Tillman was also  a primary sponsor for the Voting Reform Act in the 2013-2014 sessions, leading the charge to fight non-existent voter fraud in our state by fast-tracking a voter ID law that was purposefully constructed to keep many people’s voices from being heard, especially minority and low-income citizens.

That version of the Voter ID law was ruled unconstitutional.

And unlike a good teacher or a servant of the public, Tillman’s manner of debating hotly contested issues around public schools is the antithesis of what we really need in Raleigh. If you read Sen. Tillman’s comments from the June 16th, 2016 report by Alex Granados in EdNC.org,  you will see the strong-arm method of debate that is often used by the senator when he senses that others disagree with him.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Buncombe, first said he wouldn’t vote for the bill because it didn’t extend to the way math is taught at the elementary school level, where he said damage was being done with the teaching methods currently being used.

“I’m not voting for this bill, because this bill doesn’t do enough,” he said.

Tillman fired back that if Apodaca wanted to be stuck with Common Core, not supporting his bill would make that happen.

“If you don’t like choice, and you want to be stuck with the June Atkinson/Bill Cobey Common Core, well that’s exactly what you’re going to get,” Tillman said.

June Atkinson is the state Superintendent, and Bill Cobey is the chair of the state Board of Education.

It seemed that according to Sen. Tillman,  Dr. Atkinson and Mr. Cobey invented Common Core.

That bill from 2016 concerning math tracks in high school would have required all high schools to offer two tracks of math  and presented an incredible challenge for schools to adequately teach those differing courses in high schools in such a quick amount of time – especially when the likes of Tillman keep funding from going to traditional public schools.

Sen. Tillman thought it could be done in the blink of an eye. He was quoted in an EdNC.org report,

“If you can teach math, your same certifications are required, same students, same allotment of teachers. Not gonna change,” he said.

Tillman said the practical aspect of teaching could be accomplished by having a teacher teach Algebra I alongside Math 1 in the same class.

“With a good teacher, you can do it,” he said.

That’s shortsighted.

Remember House Bill 334 from the summer of 2015? As reported on July 23rd of that summer in Lindsay Wagner’s news story entitled “Tillman’s bill impacts charter school oversight”, Tillman championed an amendment to that bill to place oversight of charter schools under the care of the State Board of Education and out of the Department of Public Instruction’s jurisdiction. That was when Dr. June Atkinson was the state superintendent. She would have made sure that charters would be overseen as much as possible. Today’s state super is not as keen on that transparency.

What House Bill 334 would have done was to allot more money on charters by creating a situation where Tillman could have protected them from checks and balances. It was a way for Tillman to fashion a favorable situation for new charter schools to not only operate more freely, but be less transparent.

Ms. Wagner also detailed the abrupt manner in which you fielded questions from other legislators who were concerned with the surreptitious manner in which you operated. You made ludicrous statements such as:

  • · “DPI was never in love … with charter .”
  • · “I’m not going to give you the details. A good lawyer would never do that.”
  • · “We don’t air dirty laundry here.”

 The person he was talking to? Josh Stein, the current NC Attorney General. He’s considered a good lawyer.

Tillman’s bills and lawmaking have also enabled measures to allow for school takeovers by private entities. Billy Ball reported in his article on NC Policy Watch on June 24, 2016 (“Senate committee approves controversial charter takeover of low-performing schools”),

“Committee Chair Jerry Tillman, a Republican who supports the measure, declared the “ayes” to have won the vote Friday, although to some listeners, the voice vote appeared to be evenly split or favoring the opposition.“

Tillman was going to make sure it would pass. That’s why there was a voice vote. And the oldest ears in the room declared a winner.

The measure being voted upon? The ASD which became the Innovative School District.

And then there’s Tillman’s steadfast allegiance to the virtual charter schools. The following is a tweet from T. Keung Hui today:

tillman1.PNG

That’s delusional.

And Sen. Tillman co-chairs the Education Appropriations Committee for the NC General Assembly.

This man is not the legislator public schools deserve.

What Happened In Virginia

From CNN:

“Democrats cemented a new reality in Virginia on Tuesday: For decades a Republican stronghold, and then a swing state, the commonwealth is now controlled by Democrats.
The party won majorities in Virginia’s House and Senate, gaining full control of the state government for the first time in two decades.”

From WTOP.com in Virginia:

Democratic leader Sen. Dick Saslaw cited gun control, affordable health care and public education funding as key issues. “After years of Republican inaction, we are ready to get to work.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

These General Assembly elections will be the only ones conducted using the district maps chosen by a panel of federal judges in January, after ruling last year that lawmakers had racially gerrymandered 11 House districts by packing black voters into them.

Ten years ago, Virginia had a majority in their state legislation that looked much like what North Carolina has now. That will no longer be the case.

Citing the need to fund schools fully, raise minimum wages, and overcoming racially gerrymandered districts, voters changed the political landscape of Virginia.

It now politically looks like what North Carolina could look like in 2020.

Image result for virginia north carolina map border

Election Day in 2020 is less than a year away. Go vote.

 

 

 

More BS From Phil Berger Concerning Teachers

If you needed more proof that Sen. Phil Berger is using teachers as pawns in passing his version of the budget, then here it is.

Sen. Phil Berger issued a statement today that once again wrongly casts the current debacle over the budget squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Cooper.

Image

“This will likely be the only teacher pay raise bill that has a chance at becoming law.” Really? Of all the “mini-bills” that Berger has pushed through, he intentionally left out teacher pay? Of course he did.

“Gov. Cooper likes to use teachers as political pawns and convince them of an alternate reality in Republicans are anti-teacher.” Well, if Berger can convince this teacher that any of the following actions he and his cronies have taken are “pro-teacher,” then he is free to explain.

  • “Average Raises” – Manipulated raises to make it appear that the “average” teacher salary raise is higher than “actual” raises.
  • Removal of due-process rights – Teachers who are not protected by due-process will not be as willing to speak out because of fear.
  • Graduate Degree Pay Bumps Removed.
  • Push for Merit Pay and Bonus Pay – The bottom line is that merit pay destroys collaboration and promotes competition.
  • Health Insurance and Benefits – Simply put, health benefits are requiring more out-of-pocket expenditures, higher deductibles, and fewer benefits. Legislation has also taken away retirement health benefits for those who enter the profession now.
  • Attacks on Teacher Advocacy Groups (NCAE) – Seen as a union and therefore must be destroyed, the North Carolina Association of Educators has been incredibly instrumental in bringing unconstitutional legislation to light and carrying out legal battles to help public schools.
  • Revolving Door of Standardized Tests – Like other states, we have too many. Such a revolving door makes the ability to measure data historically absolutely ridiculous.
  • Reorganization and a Weakening of the Department of Public Instruction – It all started with HB17 that was “passed” in a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly after the 2016 elections and before the new terms began.
  • Less Money Spent per Pupil – When adjusted for inflation.
  • Remove Caps on Class Sizes – The math is simple: more students per teacher.
  • Jeb Bush School Grading System – This letter grading system used by the state literally shows how poverty in our state affects student achievement.
  • Cutting Teacher Assistants –  NC has lost nearly 7500 teacher assistant jobs in the last ten years.
  • Opportunity Grants – Opportunity Grant legislation is like the trophy in the case for the GOP establishment in Raleigh. It is a symbol of “their” commitment to school choice for low-income families. But it is the least transparent system in the nation.
  • Charter Schools – Many charters abuse the lack of oversight and financial cloudiness and simply do not benefit students. Especially in rural areas, uncontrolled charter school growth has been detrimental to local public schools.
  • Virtual Charter Schools – There are two virtual charter academies in NC. Both are run by for-profit entities based out of state. Both also have rated poorly every year of their existence.
  • Innovative School District – Only one school is part of this ISD which has its own superintendent and was really was never wanted in the first place.
  • Reduction of Teacher Candidates in Colleges – At last report, teaching candidate percentages in undergraduate programs in the UNC system has fallen by over 30% in the last five years.
  • Elimination of Teaching Fellows Program – Once regarded as a model to recruit the best and brightest to become teachers and stay in North Carolina was abolished because of “cost”. Yes, it was reinstituted, but as a shadow of its former self.
  • Class Size Chaos – It was never funded by the NCGA.
  • Municipal Charter School Bill – Passed as a local bill, it now has gone statewide to literally allow for segregated schools.
  • A Puppet of a State Superintendent – If someone wants to make an argument for how great a job Mark Johnson has done, then I am ears.

And that “By not signing the bill, Gov. Cooper would ensure that teachers are the only state employees to not get a raise this year” bit?

That’s some bullshit there. By making teachers the only state employees not to get a raise with all that has happened means that Berger made it so. Just to hold teachers hostage.

 

 

“The re-entrenchment of resegregation” in CMS: Remembering HB 514, The Municipal Charter School Bill

From EdNC.org yesterday concerning the “The Future of School Integration in North Carolina” panel hosted by NC Policy Watch:

Rev. William Barber II, originally slated to speak at the event, gave introductory remarks via web chat:

“What do you have now in Charlotte?” he questioned. “Beneath the beautiful buildings and bountiful banking, you have the re-entrenchment of resegregation of public schools that is unlike anything else in the state of North Carolina.”

CMS, the second largest district statewide by student enrollment, is North Carolina’s most segregated school district, according to a 2018 report from the North Carolina Justice Center.

“As we stand here today, Charlotte is the most segregated school system in North Carolina, in a badly segregated state,” event moderator Billy Ball of NC Policy Watch stated, referencing the report. “CMS would have to reassign more than half of its students in order to achieve some kind of racial parity in its school system.”

Remember that CMS was the original testing ground for the Municipal Charter Bill, HB 514, that was championed by Rep. Bill Brawley of Mecklenberg County.

Nothing screams “segregation” more than that bill did.

When Rep. Brawley first championed HB 514, he promoted a bill that allowed for cities to use property tax money to fund local schools. It also allowed for some select cities and towns to establish their own charter schools with enrollment preference for their citizens using taxpayer money. And because it was a local bill, it did not require the governor’s approval; therefore, Gov. Cooper could not issue a veto at the time.

To many public school advocates, this “Municipal Charter School” bill was (and still is) beyond egregious and potentially set North Carolina back decades as far as treating all people equally. It exacerbated an already fractious situation that has endured gerrymandering, a Voter ID law, cowering to big industry instead of protecting the environment, and giving massive tax cuts to corporations that hurt public services.

There are a plethora of ill-fated consequences that could fully manifest themselves quickly because of this bill.

  1. It could raise everyone’s property taxes in the state. Whatever the state now mandates for public schools and does not choose to specifically fund can now be passed on to local school systems.
  2. It potentially weakens every public school system in the state whether or not it currently has a charter school. Now charter schools can ask the local district for funds to finance anything from custodians to benefits for charter school teachers.
  3. It will probably cause a rise in charter school applications and eventually lead to more charter schools in the state. And the more charter schools there are, the more it hurts traditional public schools which still service the overwhelming majority of students in the state.
  4. But most importantly, it would be allowing for the systemic re-segregation of student populations in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School System under the auspicious call for “school choice.”

And on December 13, 2018, during a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly to supposedly iron-out details for the new Voter ID amendment, a Technical Corrections Bill called SB 469 removed the provision for the original HB 514 that stipulated its “local bill” status. Now, it applies to the whole state.

Back to the recent EdNC.org post:

Speaking largely on how charter schools can hinder integration efforts, Mark Dorosin described House Bill 514 — the 2018 bill that granted four municipalities in Mecklenburg County the legal grounds to operate their own charter schools — as a “new front in the struggle for education.”

The bill allows “publicly funded charter schools [to] exclude students who don’t live in the town,” he said. By dictating who can and cannot attend such schools in predominantly white, affluent communities, Dorosin said, the bill has threatened to exacerbate the already profound effects of segregation at schools within CMS.

Now look at #4 above again.

It should be reworded.

4. But most importantly, it would be allowing for the CONTINUED systemic re-segregation of student populations in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School System under the auspicious call for “school choiceand potentially spread that influence all over the state.

Brawley lost his re-election bid in 2018.

Maybe a majority of the people he was supposedly representing didn’t really see him as representative of their views.

 

School Performance Grades – The NCGA’s Way Of Mapping Poverty, Health Care Access, And Food Deserts

Below is a map provided by EdNC.org that plots the most recent school performance grades across North Carolina.

mapednc.PNG

Next is a map of the economic well-being of each NC county as reported be the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

2019 County Tier Designations

 

The LIGHTER the shade of blue, the more economic “distress.” This is how it was determined according to the site.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns each a Tier designation. This Tier system is incorporated into various state programs to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.

The 40 most distressed counties are designated as Tier 1, the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3.

Review the 2019 County Tier Designations Memo (published November 30, 2018)

County Tiers are calculated using four factors:

  • Average unemployment rate
  • Median household income
  • Percentage growth in population
  • Adjusted property tax base per capital

The next map is of poverty rates as reported by the Port City Daily on Feb. 18th, 2018.

As of 2016, 17.3 percent of the New Hanover County population lives in poverty. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of USDA Economic Research Service)

Below is a map that considers what areas in NC are considered rural.

shows darker green rural areas

“The darker green areas are more rural according to most definitions. Courtesy of the Sheps Center for Health Services Research.”

From the North Carolina Alliance For Health:

That is a map that represents death rates in conjunction to economic transactions and income rates.

And this is from the USDA.gov. It concerns low access to grocery stores.

mapfooddesert

And then there is access to hospitals. Also from North Carolina Health News:

map indicates the average distance to care for each north Carolina county. Shows that residents in rural counties need to travel further to get care.

Rural areas have a shortage of almost every type of provider. In North Carolina, 20 counties do not have a pediatrician; 26 counties do not have an OB-GYN; and 32 are without a psychiatrist, according to the interactive North Carolina Health Professions Data System.

Now go back to that map of the school performance grades.

mapednc.PNG

See a pattern?

365 Days From Today Could Be A Very Big Day For North Carolina Public Education

Today is Sunday, November 3, 2019.

November 3, 2020 is the first Tuesday of the 11th month. That’s election day.

november-3-2020

North Carolina has 100 counties, each with a county public school system. According to the Labor and Economic Analysis Division of the NC Dept. of Commerce, the public schools are at least the second-largest employers in over 80 of them—and the largest employer, period, in over 60. That means teachers represent a base for most communities, the public school system.  And we are strong in numbers.

And there will be new maps for districts.

I strongly urge anyone in North Carolina who cares about public schools to vote in November of 2020. If you know anyone in North Carolina who is registered to vote, then please encourage them to do so. You are in a state where public education is under assault by the private sector posing as reformers. If our public school system is to recover and thrive, then this trend must stop.

2020 starts now.