Act before it’s too late – save our public schools!

Strong public schools benefit all Chatham County residents by educating our youth and generating the workforce of tomorrow. When our students have access to the resources they need and varied curriculum options, they are ready for college or career. Strong public schools also increase home values. Economists estimate that a 5 percent improvement in test scores in suburban neighborhoods can raise home prices by 2.5 percent. 

Unfortunately, the NC General Assembly is poised to pass numerous bills which, along with the state budget, will continue to dramatically disinvest in our public schools and weaken their impact in our community and our workforce. Below are some facts to consider.

Did you know? 

  • NC is 48th in the nation in per pupil spending. As such, our schools are already under-resourced and understaffed. Click here for more information. 
  • Private school vouchers will cost the public $540 million by the 2032-33 school year.  The issue is not choice.  The issue is providing a quality education, and this voucher program does not meet that mark. These vouchers do not provide school accountability or curriculum standards and will discriminate and segregate. Furthermore, voucher programs in other states like New Hampshire show 89% of students receiving vouchers already attended private school–essentially serving as a subsidy for families who could already afford private school. Click here for more information. 
  • As our teacher vacancies continue to grow, the proposed House and Senate budgets fall short of providing our teachers a livable wage, let alone a respectable wage. Nationally, NC is 32nd in average teacher pay and 46th in beginning teacher salaries. Click here for more information. 

What can you do to put more teachers in classrooms and add additional resources to our local schools without increasing taxes in Chatham County?

  • Call, email and write your local legislators, Senator Murdock and Representative Reives and ask them to continue to support the budget and bills that invest in our students here in Chatham County and oppose the proposed legislation for school vouchers. 
  • Call, email and write Senator Berger and Representative Moore and demand  they respect the law and adhere to the NC Supreme Court’s order in the Leandro case to fully fund public schools as required by the state constitution.  
  • Share this information with family, friends and colleagues in other counties as all counties will be drastically impacted if these bills pass. Tell them to contact their legislators and join together in our fight to save our public schools in NC. Sign this petition to fully fund public schools in NC
  • Sign up to follow work with CEF. 

Referenced bills and budgets:

SB 406 & HB 823: Choose Your School, Choose Your Future

Governor’s Budget

House Budget Bill & Money ReportSenate Budget Bill & Money Report

Article by: Jaime Detzi

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