North Carolina Public Schools Going Without Basics: Educators' Stories Highlight Needs in K-12 Education

Jun 15, 2010, 15:59 ET from North Carolina Association of Educators

RALEIGH, N.C. , June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With more than 5,000 educators' jobs lost last year and $409 million in discretionary cuts, public schools across the state are struggling to provide a basic education to students in grades K-12. Educators, who are working harder, with more students, for less money, have stories to share about their experiences in classrooms where education cuts are hitting home.

"We're not talking about trying to offer six-figure salaries, research grants, or staying competitive, we're talking about cuts in K-12 education that have gone from cutting into flesh to hitting bone," said NCAE President Sheri Strickland. "We're going backward in our investment at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The stories we are hearing from members are describing situations for our educators and our students that are in or headed toward crisis. K-12 education has got to be the priority or our students will not make it to college."

Rudy Britt, an eighth grade math teacher at Southwest Randolph middle school in Randolph County, shares the first in a series of stories from educators who are asking legislators to Fund Schools First. Britt said he went to his church for donations so that his students would have adequate supplies to do their school work. Pencils, paper, erasers, Kleenex and Clorox wipes were all on his list of needed items to help his students through the school year.

"Our supply budget was cut, we ran out of paper, I didn't have enough rulers for my students; it was disastrous and I hope it doesn't happen again in the upcoming school year," Britt said. He firmly believes that North Carolina's students deserve better and said he spent hundreds of dollars of his own money to pay for classroom needs because of budget cuts.

He attended the Fund Schools First rally at the NCAE Center on May 15 to help send the message to legislators that North Carolina's K-12 public schools need their support.

NCAE will release stories of educators during the month of June to highlight the needs of K-12 public schools in North Carolina. Stories will be added to the list each week day.

NCAE is the state's largest education association, representing nearly 60,000 active, retired and student members in North Carolina.

SOURCE North Carolina Association of Educators