The Education & Law Project continues its #NCEdVoter series this afternoon with the help of Jen Bourne, a parent and educator in Mecklenburg County. Bourne is involved with various advocacy efforts to ensure education equity in our state and is an active leader in the NC Families for Testing Reform group.
Here are Jen’s top ten reasons for being a #NCEdVoter this fall:
1. Children come into the world as complete humans and we should care about the hopes and needs of all humans — especially those without voice or means to make themselves understood.
2. Universal Pre-K would go a long way to creating greater equity. We should fund it.
3. Children need more time to play and teachers need more time to teach. It would cost us nothing to give them both, and it would pay dividends in restoring joy to the school experience for everyone.
4. All content areas are important. It would cost us nothing to teach the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, but it would take time away from teaching to the test.
5. No one teaches for the money. Caring education professionals are on the front line with parents, fighting for the right of every child to grow into a good human with many positive choices and the skills required to choose wisely.
6. No one teaches for the money, BUT it would be nice if teachers could afford to raise families and pay medical deductibles without going into debt. Increased college loan forgiveness incentives would really be great.
7. Wrap around services (social workers, speech pathologists, school counselors and nurses) are crucial and insufficiently staffed due to current funding shortages and bad priorities. I am all for a toll lane if it means better schools. I am all for a tax increase if it means better access to resources for everyone.
8. I would like to feel a sense of pride in the efforts of North Carolina as a place where everyone is guaranteed to receive a good education, and all of our schools and communities value diversity.
9. I live in Mecklenburg County, home of the state’s most segregated school districts. The passing of HB514 will further segregate my community and I am angry at the legislators who voted for this Jim Crow form of dis-integration.
10. Given our spending priorities and the already antagonistic treatment of educators and minorities, the constitutional amendments that are designed to suppress votes and limit tax income for schools chills me to the bone.
Even if I did not have kids or know any teachers, I would be a public education voter because all of our fates are connected and in the hands of each other. Well-funded and well-executed public education preserves the greater good for everyone. We can only see each other if we know how to look, through lenses of history, art, science and all the richness that the world offers. We need to stop pinching pennies when it comes to fully funding greater opportunities for all children.
Jen Bourne has three daughters and works hard to advocate not only for them, but for all children. Her family believes that children deserve the best kind of education: one that honors their whole personhood and one that attends to their academic, social, emotional, and physical needs.