It was my music classroom that was pictured in the Jan. 19 news article “N.C. schools might cut arts, PE to meet new class size limits.” I’ve been following this issue closely since then.
As a National Board certified music educator who has dedicated my life to serving in the North Carolina public schools, I urge our state senators to pass House Bill 13.
Does my work have no value to legislators? That’s certainly the message being sent if they do not pass HB 13 soon. Why would they allow thousands of highly qualified, committed state employees to lose their jobs and be taken away from students who need them most?
As they’re aware, school districts across the state are currently in their budgetary process. They should not abdicate the responsibility of funding arts positions and PE to local districts. Teacher funding has always come from the state. Why should that change now?
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The kind of experiments that are happening with regard to for-profit and unaccountable charter schools seems to be in conflict with public school programs’ traditions of serving all residents.
I’m completely committed to my students, my colleagues and my state. I don’t understand why they would want to displace people like me.
I’m very concerned about current inaction as well as future decisions that may continue to increasingly erode education programs across our great state.
I’m in agreement with Bill Fletcher’s words, “most of the legislators who supported this didn’t understand the unintentional consequences.” That must be the case because how else could well-meaning representatives intentionally want to create an overwhelming amount of problems if class size restrictions in their original form are implemented?
These issues for our local superintendents and school boards would include, but are not limited to, requiring additional teachers (approximately 460 in Wake County alone or the equivalent of 12 additional elementary schools) while possibly cutting other subjects from schools completely, dividing space to accommodate two teachers in one classroom or constructing additional classroom space on current campuses.
Don’t they know we have a teacher shortage in North Carolina? Keeping HB 13 stalled in the Rules Committee has very harmful consequences. I hope they make the passage of HB 13 a priority and do what’s best for all North Carolina residents they serve.
Jennifer Causey Sonstroem
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the issue.