Every child deserves a quality education, and that means more than just reading, writing, and math. It means having great public schools that are well-funded, with teachers and staff who are supported and valued, and equitable access to resources. Our schools are facing many challenges, and it is up to us to come to the table, making sure that more voices are represented, to find the solutions our community needs.
Recruiting & Retaining Teachers
We need to be advocates for our teachers. Higher pay is just one piece of what must be a multi-part strategy to attract the best educators in the region to Mecklenburg County and to keep them here. By capitalizing on the momentum of the CMS Teaching Residency program, and by partnering with local colleges and universities to retain the area’s human capital, we can continue to grow a strong educational infrastructure with deep community roots. We must also ensure that teachers with unique skills and experiences are able to put those qualifications to work in a way that best serves students, without undue red tape. Lastly, we need to support our new teachers, making sure they are able to establish a solid foundation that will lead to many years of future success, for our students and for them professionally.
Equity & Inclusion
More Funding for Pre-K
I will continue to fight for more Pre-K dollars. Preschool education continues to provide the best return on investment we can make for the county’s youngest scholars. I taught for two years in partnership with a local preschool, working with parents on family engagement and helping them to become their children’s “first” teachers. I have seen what Pre-K can do for our students, and I believe we need to expand our community’s investment in this area.
Compassion and encouragement for every student should be at the center of our education policy. That means equipping low-income and disadvantaged students with the tools they need to succeed not just in school, but in life. The district needs to ensure quality access to educational resources across schools and communities, which includes access to advanced classes for every student and giving them the support they need to excel in these courses of study. We must also prioritize the success of our students beyond high school by providing them with paths to post-high school achievement in community colleges, trade schools, the armed forces, and the workforce, in addition to four-year colleges and universities.
At the heart of education is a deep commitment to the individual success of every student. CMS must provide a variety of support services that include counselors, teaching assistants, psychologists, and social workers that make our schools an environments where every student can thrive. Hand-in-hand with these steps, district-wide cultural competence, and social and emotional learning training can increase the degree to which teachers and staff understand the unique circumstances and experiences that students face.
I’m also committed to providing more career exploration opportunities in middle and high school so our students can evaluate their interests and their gifts and align them to be career or college-ready. In the past month, I have met with three (3) separate organizations that partner with CMS to provide CTE opportunities for computer hardware/software training, computer coding, and opportunities to explore careers in the trades. Research shows that we have and will continue to have a shortage of skilled tradesmen/tradeswomen. Not everyone needs or wants to go to a traditional college. We need to reinforce the value of careers in the trades and IT, many of which don't require a four-year degree.