I have sent several E-mails this summer to our legislators and conferees, pleading with them to spare education any cuts that would affect the jobs of teachers, administrators, and other educators. Our voices collectively do make a difference. Both groups need to hear from you. Write what you feel is important for them to know.
I have suggested that we cut out all EOC’s other than the five required for NC Exit Standards. I have also discussed how increasing class size and course offerings due to drastic reductions in the budget will not help North Carolina’s students compete with other states in the nation.
Why am I trying to explain….here is my letter to our legislators.
As an educator in Hickory Public Schools, I feel that our system is the finest in this state. Our reputation for innovative programs, embracing diversity, and partnering with our community are strengths that have helped our students achieve. We have excellent teachers, administrators, and support staff, and I am proud to be a part of Hickory Public Schools.
We are all far too aware of how dire the fiscal situation is in our state. From reports from House and Senate budgets, educators who do not lose their jobs will certainly lose a percentage of their pay. I beg you to stand up for educators. With larger class sizes and a reduction in the teaching force, we stand to lose some of our brightest and best young teachers simply because they have not achieved tenure. Our Hickory Public Schools’ students deserve the best that we can give them. Our best is sure to be stretched to the limit if the proposed budget passes.
For our economy to thrive, our citizens must be employed. With the massive cuts in education, fewer citizens will have income to spend – thereby increasing the substantial deficit we are currently experiencing. I implore you to seek other avenues to balance our budget. Don’t let education be first on the chopping block. Our work with students is not only the backbone of our community, but the foundation of our future. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff deserve better – they are shaping the future of Hickory. We need your voice now more than ever. Please save our jobs so that we can make a bigger difference and prepare a brighter future for the children in our community, our county, and our state.
Heather P. Mullins, M.Ed. / NBCT 2002
Instructional Coach, Hickory Public Schools
Here are our legislators:
Sen. Austin Allran (R) — 828-322-1410 — Austin.Allran@ncleg.net
Rep. Mark Hilton (R) — 828-464-9006 — Mark.Hilton@ncleg.net
Rep. Mitch Setzer (R) — 828-241-3570 — Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net
Rep. Ray Warren (D) — 828-632-3798 — Ray.Warren@ncleg.net
Here are two of the messages I sent the conferees…
In this budget crisis, all staff development orginates in the central office. Teachers may no longer attend conferences, workshops, or other professional development opportunities due to the lack of monies available for substitutes, travel, and registration purposes. My position allows me to provide our teachers with these opportunities each and every week at a fraction of the cost of sending teachers to such conferences. Please do not cut K-12 central office personnel. Take a look at what we have provided our teachers free of charge through our central office and our Curriculum and Instruction Department by clicking the link below. We have learned to operate on a shoestring budget, but cutting positions from the central office will not eliminate the need teachers have for quality professional development. However, it will cut the professionals who are qualified to provide these services. Between our two Instructional Coaches and our one Instructional Technology Specialist, we have worked diligently to meet the various needs of our teachers, our schools, and their School Improvement Plans. I urge you not to return to the “sink or swim” mentality for teachers.
I ask you to please consider eliminating five of the high school end-of-course tests as a means to help balance the budget this year. Currently, we have ten EOC’s that are used for accountability purposes. Thank you for your consideration to keep only the five High School Exit Standards and eliminate the additional five, thus saving the state millions of dollars.
Contact the conferees at these addresses:
Charlie.firstname.lastname@example.org; Charlie.email@example.com; Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org; Ab.email@example.com; Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org; Don.Davis@ncleg.net; Tony.email@example.com; Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net; Joesam.firstname.lastname@example.org; Richard.email@example.com; Don.Vaughan@ncleg.net; Marc.firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Tony.firstname.lastname@example.org; Alma.email@example.com; Martha.firstname.lastname@example.org; Jim.email@example.com; Phillip.firstname.lastname@example.org; Hugh.email@example.com; Maggie.firstname.lastname@example.org; Mickey.email@example.com; Bill.firstname.lastname@example.org; Joe.email@example.com; Doug.firstname.lastname@example.org; Larry.email@example.com; Rick.firstname.lastname@example.org; Linda.email@example.com; Marvin.firstname.lastname@example.org; Marian.email@example.com; Earline.firstname.lastname@example.org; Ray.email@example.com; Cullie.firstname.lastname@example.org; Laura.email@example.com; Joe.firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; William.email@example.com; Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
And here are their addresses. Please let them know we want to keep NC strong, and what we provide students in our classroom provides the foundation for our future.