Budgets Show Your Values

State budgets are a way to understand people.  People spend money on what they think is important. Our state budget right now was put together behind closed doors without the input of any Democrats and they have made a lot of decisions in those rooms that have had a dramatic impact on our state.

We have a State General Assembly today that doesn’t seem to care very much about the needs of ordinary people.  Tax-wise, budget-wise, wealthy people are being cared for, they’re being watched out for, on the theory that if they have a lot of money that will trickle down to the rest of us.

Chuck Edwards supported corporate tax breaks while cutting funding for our schools.

 

People spend money on what they think is important.

Chuck Edwards voted for billions in tax giveaways for millionaires and out of state corporations and our schools, and our kids are paying the price. As a result, North Carolina now ranks 39th in the nation in education funding. I stand with the families of North Carolina, and I will always put our kids first. If you care share this post.

Posted by Norm Bossert on Thursday, October 11, 2018

My Pledge to Teachers

Last June, I retired from a career that spanned 44 years as a classroom teacher and school administrator.  At first, I thought that retiring would be a pretty easy process.  It was not. As the new school year grew closer, I realized just exactly how much I was going to miss the kids, the parents, and the community of teachers and staff members who dedicated themselves to the well-being of children.

With retirement I remembered the first year I worked with kids like Drew who loved playing foosball.  Lee, who asked me to teach him to play trumpet.  I worked with Paul who struggled academically and socially.  I remembered Barbara who had a speech impediment and was painfully shy because of it.

It has been 45 years since I had them in my class.  But I can still see their faces.  I can still remember them sharing their hopes and dreams.  I can still see them struggling through their teen years.  

When 0ne is truly successful with a child it is much like a moment of grace.  There is simply no substitute for the relationships one develops, the opportunity to change lives and alter the course of a young life in a meaningful way. 

I loved every moment of my career, no matter what I taught or coached, I knew the power of and significance of every single word I shared with every single child.  I knew that any word carelessly chosen could crush a child’s spirit.  I knew that any word carefully chosen could lift a child’s spirit.  For all those years I promised kids that it was my job to be certain the felt safe, welcome, and wanted.

When I retired, I reflected on that first year of teaching.  My first paycheck was about $600.00 before taxes. I thought I died and went to heaven, until it came time to pay my bills.  That car I needed to get to work, its insurance, power bills, the cost of continuing my education, rent and food pushed me up against a financial wall that I will never forget. 

 Like many teachers I knew, I had to work a second job and my wife Shelley worked at the same school I did.

And so it is with teachers everywhere.  Teachers, too, have needs.  They aren’t always financial needs either.  Teachers need to be treated with respect commensurate with the importance of the job they do. 

 If you value your doctor, your lawyer, your car mechanic, your retailer, or whatever, then you surely must know that who they are and what they do started in kindergarten.  I would venture a guess that no matter who you are you vividly remember both the positive and not so positive things from your school days.  Too, I’ll bet most of you have had both!

Today the leadership in North Carolina’s General Assembly seems to have forgotten how they got where they are today. I have not!  As a candidate for State Senate I have a pledge to make to our teachers.

 

  • I will work to restore career status (often called tenure.)
  • I will work to restore the career ladder for pay.
  • I will work to restore increased pay for advanced degrees.
  • I will work to provide universal pre-school.
  • I will work to end vouchers.
  • I will work to dramatically increase the numbers of social workers and school counselors in our schools.
  • I will work to give power back to our school boards.
  • I will work to provide a tuition-free post high school (community college) education.
  • I will work to see to it that our children are fully funded. (Currently, children are funded at $500.00 per year less than they were in 2008!}
  • I will work to see to it that we once again fund a robust teacher scholarship program that will graduate up to 1500 new teachers a year.
  • I will work to see to it that our veteran teachers receive the pay raises they need to make theirs a real career as well as retiree benefits!
  • I will work to see to it that teacher assistants (K-3) are protected.
  • I will work to increase administrator pay.
  •  I will work to lessen testing and stop using high stakes testing to grade and pay our teachers and schools.

 

The current General Assembly leadership thinks that the only thing teachers want is more money. The public school picture is far more complicated than that. If they would listen to teachers they would do right by our children and give them the best.

 I’m not ready to retire.  It turns out that there is more for me to do.  Send this educator to the legislature so I can keep on fighting for children like Drew, Paul, and Barbara…and all the other children and their teachers.  North Carolina’s future depends on it.

 

Norm

Norm Schools Edwards on Education

The following is from a speech that Norm gave at his April 5th fundraising event with Jeff Jackson. 

A good time was had by all at the event!

 

Last night, Chuck Edwards announced on WLOS that he has posted a survey to find out what his constituents concerns are for their public schools.  I am wondering why he doesn’t already know.

After all, he is a member of the Education Appropriations Committee in the North Carolina Senate.

 

  1. Shouldn’t he already know because education was on the lips of thousands of Moral Monday Marchers, Superintendents statewide who meet with Legislators every year, and North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) repeatedly brought the State’s education needs to his attention?
  2. Shouldn’t he already know because every year the North Carolina Department of Public Education (NCDP) surveys parents, teachers, and students in their various exit years?  By the way, private schools have no such requirements.
  3. Shouldn’t he already know because Public School Systems are required to make the results of those surveys available to anyone who wants to see them?  By the way, private schools have no such requirements.
  4. Shouldn’t he already know because every Pubic School has a School Improvement Team that includes teachers, administrators, and members of the community and, in upper grades, students?  By the way, private schools have no such requirements.
  5. Shouldn’t a member of the Education Appropriations Committee already know that public schools are required to be accountable for student proficiency and growth?  By the way, private schools have no such requirements.
  6. Shouldn’t he already know that School Boards are responsible to develop their policies based on surveys, testing, and input from the communities they serve and the staff of each school in their jurisdiction?  By the way, private schools have no such requirements.
  7. Shouldn’t he already know what schools need because every Public School is required to have an Advisory Council who publish the minutes of their meetings? By the way, private schools have no such requirements.
  8. Doesn’t he know that our Public Schools are required to have accessible school leadership with whom he can speak any time he wishes to make an appointment?  By the way, private schools have no such requirements.

Clearly, a year and a half into his term, Mr. Edwards still doesn’t know the basics of his job.

  1. He doesn’t know what schools need as evidenced by the budget he supports which underfunds our students at a rate $500.00 per pupil less than in 2008.   I would restore that funding.
  2. He also fails to support the Teaching Fellows program at a level that used to produce 1500 new teachers every year.  (As it would happen there is a shortage of teachers.  Colleges report that the enrollment of education majors is down about 30% state wide.)     I would fully support the Teaching Fellows program.
  3. He doesn’t support pre-school programs at the level they were at just a few short years ago.   I believe every child should have access to pre-school programs.
  4. His plans to decrease class size sound touchy-feely, but don’t take into account that thousands of elementary assistants will lose their jobs.  Those jobs are critical to the success of our early grades regardless of the classroom size.  It doesn’t take into account that school systems would have to build new facilities or move temporary structures onto campus  I would do away with this poorly funded mandate.  I would let local School Boards decide how to use State funds.  This is what School Boards are elected to do!  No more Raleigh overreach!
  5. He supports pulling 11 million dollars a year out of our budget to support vouchers for people to send their children to private schools for which there is zero accountability.  I don’t support vouchers, but if we can’t get rid of them, we need to at least make private schools more accountable to us and allow the vouchers to follow the student if they re-enroll in public schools. 

Mr. Edwards may think he needs another survey.  He wouldn’t if he had met with the Moral Monday Marchers, superintendents, teachers or answered the letters and phone calls he got from countless citizens who voiced their concerns about their Public School individually.

It is hard to trust someone who accepts responsibility for something about which he knows nothing.  It makes me angry to know that we have an elected official, assigned to oversee education for the last year and a half, who only now is saying he needs to learn what the people want and need.  Mr. Edwards, the train has left the station and you missed it!

My campaign is about renewing trust in each other and our government.  That starts with listening. As Principal, on the first day of school every year, I walked into every classroom in the building.  I told my students that it was my job to see to it that they felt safe, welcome, and wanted at school.  Without those three things, no one learns anything.

To get a government that we can trust, we need to elect my friends Gayle Kemp, Sam Edney, Susan Fisher, Terry Van Duyn, John Ager, Joe Sam Queen, Senator Jeff Jackson and me.  We need your time, we need your treasure.  BUT most of all, we need your vote!

Senator Jeff Jackson