Education

Thank You

We did it.

Six months ago, the CHCCS PTA Council adopted as it's primary local advocacy priority to fully fund schools. We knew that a difficult budget year loomed and that the community would have to come together to make a difference.

Tonight the Orange County Board of County Commissioners agreed by a vote of 5-2 to increase general property taxes by 2 cents per 100$. In addition, they will be allocating almost $1M from fund balance.

The bottom line? Both CHCCS and Orange County Schools will be fully funded at the local level based on their initial budget requests.

Fully Fund Our Schools: A Statement From the CHCCS PTA President

This is the statement I delivered to the Orange County Board of Commissioners during last night's meeting. The comments are posted here as well as the PTA Council blog.

Good evening. My name is Jeff Hall. I am the President of the Chapel Hill / Carrboro City Schools PTA Council.

Up until a few hours ago, I fully expected to read to you the official statement of the PTA Council, asking you to fully fund the budget request of both CHCCS and Orange County Schools. It is a great statement, with supporting facts and based on talking points that were developed in collaboration with parents, teachers and students across the district. But, you already know that. I emailed it to you a month ago.

But as I thought more about who I was talking to, I decided to change it up.

High School

This spring I have been going to  a lot of high school events. My son graduates from Carrboro High School and former students at Chapel Hill HS are graduating. Last weekend in Winson Salem the state Ultimate playoffs occurred. This is a sport which requires almost no equipment: a frisbee and a field. Teams are low key, they don't have practice everyday. Carolina Friends won first place. CHHS 2nd, Carrboro 3rd and ECHHS 4th in the state! I've been impressed by the high school plays and concerts this year. As funding for school declines students are concerned that their favorite courses will be cut. Historically our district has funded the cultural arts. I hope that even the "smaller" classes will be allowed to continue. Students at Carrboro were worried about losing some of the chorus classes.  Today Carrboro had their senior assembly. Students put in an impressive number of volunteer hours, earned many scholarships and spoke up for diversity and social justice. We have a lot of talent in our schools.

Loren

Supporting Teachers

Last evening my son and I attended a forum at Culbreth Middle School about teacher pay. There were a number of panels. First teachers spoke (including one of my son's teachers from Carrboro High School). They shared stories about how hard it was to make it on teacher pay especially since their salaries have been frozen at the same pay scale step since 2007. State statistics show that an unusually high number of teachers are leaving for other states or are quitting the profession. High school and middle school students talked about their teachers and how sad it was that many of their teachers have decided to leave.  Aaron Nelson spoke for the local business community. He mentioned the positive impact a good school system has on the economy and that they support paying more for education. Finally the local superintendent, 3 state reps and 1 state senator spoke about the budgets and politics. A pleasant surprise was that one rep was a Republican from Guilford/ Greensboro who supports increased pay for all teachers.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT VS. CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN ! IS THERE A MODERATE IN THE HOUSE?

 It appears that as far as I can see on the political scene that there is a civil war here in orange county between liberal democrats and  conservative republicans. Where are the moderates of both parties.  Which of the current candidates of either party declare that he or she is a moderate liberal democrat or moderate conservative republican . Perhaps I might  declare I"M  a moderate liberal republican.  Gary Kahn

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