What Will Public Education Look Like in NC Over the Next Five Years?
A public forum in Greensboro this week will take a closer look at the issues and challenges facing North Carolina's public education system. The event, titled "Keep Public in Public Education", is sponsored by several organizations in the Piedmont Triad, including the Guilford County Association of Educators and the League of Women Voters.
Dot Kearns is a former school board member with Guilford County schools and serves as the Education Roundtable Chair for the League of Women Voters in the area. She is also a member of the new state-wide education initiative called Public Schools First North Carolina.
The state-wide movement was formed by residents out of concern about the changing landscape of public education in the state. Kearns says the public forum will look at the educational challenges facing communities today.
“The rising growth of poverty in our state and how that impacts regular public schools, meaning that there needs to be funding for small class sizes for children who come less prepared and it means a strong need for early childhood, pre-K education,” says Kearns.
Kearns says other topics that will be discussed at the event include the implementation of common core standards in public schools across the country, teacher retention and bills that are being debated by N.C. lawmakers about charter school governance and school vouchers.
“We don't know how many of those scholarships would be available, but at $4,200 a year, it would certainly take a chunk of funding away from traditional public schools. We are also concerned about public tax dollars going to schools that are not open and public to every child,” says Kearns.
The guest speaker at the event will be Page McCullough with Public Schools First North Carolina.
The community discussion on public education will take place Tuesday, May 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Congregational United Church of Christ on Radiance Drive in Greensboro.