Education in North Carolina is a broad and complex issue that often is one of the most passionate in the state. Diversity in the schools, teacher pay and accountability, curriculum and affordable post-secondary education are some of the issues that are discussed—and argued—within our communities. The recession has affected education as well, so as budgets tighten, politicians sometimes consider cutting education, regardless of its overwhelming public support.
North Carolina made nationwide headlines last year when the Wake County School Board voted to reverse its busing policy, thereby reducing or eliminating the amount of diversity in Raleigh's schools. Other controversies include funds from a temporary one cent tax that are set to expire, reduction in teacher pay and layoffs, and the constant cry for voucher programs. Often a contentious and local issue, it is also one that parents can have a say in—and what they say matters. If there's one issue where public participation can make a difference, it's education.
Fair and affordable public education is a cornerstone of American democracy. In order to remain competitive, North Carolineans should fight for a child's chance to excel to his or her capabilities.