Imagine Rep. Mike Stone’s (R- Lee) surprise when he received a letter from his 8-year old daughter asking him to find more money to support public education (See news segment). Stone’s daughter a third grader at Tramway Elementary School in Lee County was one of several classes in the district where students were enlisted by school officials to write letters to law makers in hopes of restoring additional funding for North Carolina public schools.
Three weeks ago, I blogged about how Anne Beal, the principal of Tramway Elementary sent out a letter outlining her plan to fight the proposed cuts. That plan included allowing five faculty or staff members speak at six different public meetings – all beginning at 3 PM. If someone tells me that such staff departures — during the school day — don’t impact class time, then why are the indviduals even on staff?
Evidently Principal Beal or Superintendent Jeff Moss of Lee County Schools have no problems with enlisting children to further the policy aims of teachers and groups such as the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). Moss was reported to have said he doesn’t see a problem with a writing exercise where students support public education.
The Lee county episode is just one of numerous NCAE-directed efforts involving teachers, students and staff aimed at providing additional funding to public education. Do NCAE staff and public school teachers have a right to express their opinions? Of course. But they should express their views on their own time and not enlist impressionable, innocent students to further their own personal policy goals.
And to think NCAE can’t figure out why legislative leaders want to move forward with legislation (SB 727) that would eliminate dues check off for payroll deduction for public education employees.
See what voters think about this legislation here.