Superintendent Catherine Truitt on Wednesday announced a new 48-member parental advisory committee to “share aspirations” and to discuss challenges for education in North Carolina.
The new board will advise and inform leaders and public policy officials on various aspects of education and student well-being, according to an N. C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) press release.
The board will include parents with students enrolled in traditional public schools, charter schools, as well as homeschool and private schools to ensure broad representation of all school choice options across the state and include diverse feedback, the press release said.
“Data shows us that students with parents who are involved in their education are more likely to achieve academic success and have a more positive attitude towards learning,” Truitt said. “This commission is an important way we can create better outcomes for students, as we are hearing from parents about what’s working and what we can do better.”
The advisory board will include six parents or guardians from each of the state’s eight educational regions to ensure diverse geographical participation.
Committee applications are available beginning today through March 31. Members will serve two-year terms, with the full commission aiming to convene quarterly beginning this summer. The full commission will be composed of regional sub-groups, which will hold monthly meetings conducted both in-person and virtually to accommodate parents’ schedules.
Truitt’s committee launch comes as school districts across North Carolina and throughout the nation are already seeing unprecedented parental involvement stemming primarily from protests over mask mandates and what can be taught in public schools about America’s history.
In November, Truitt, a Republican, celebrated Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race, declaring in a tweet that “Parents’ voices were heard loud and clear last night in VA!”
Youngkin’s win over Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor, hinged on the candidates’ positions on public education.
McAuliffe made a major gaffe in a debate held just days before the election when he said that parents should not tell schools what to teach.
Youngkin seized the moment. He pledged to give parents more control over what children learn in school.
Truitt pledged in her celebratory tweet to continue to fight for the same “basic principles” that helped Youngkin to win the governor’s seat in Virginia.
She has also vowed to fight against critical race theory (CRT) in North Carolina’s public schools. (CRT) is an obscure academic discipline that examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. Most K-12 educators say CRT is not taught in public schools.