North Carolina: ACTION NEEDED NOW! General Assembly Will Vote on Budget at 4 pm!

An urgent appeal from parent leaders at Public Schools First North Carolina. The General Assembly is about to pass a budget that includes no funding for teachers of art, music, and physical education. The unfunded mandate for reduced class size in the early grades will cause massive layoffs and program cuts. ACT NOW!

ACTION ALERT……..ACTION ALERT ACTION ALERT……..ACTION ALERT ACTION ALERT……..ACTION ALERT

PUBLIC SCHOOL ADVOCATES MUST CONTACT LEGISLATORS NOW!

Senators are planning to vote on the HB13 Amended Bill THIS AFTERNOON, Tuesday April 25th at their 4pm session.

PLEASE STOP what you are doing right now and CALL, E-MAIL, or TWEET North Carolina Senators FIRST and then call every HOUSE Member and ask them to add an amendment to put money for SPECIALS in the new two-year budget! The current bill has NO funds to pay for specials teachers next year! PLEASE DO IT NOW!

This may be our only chance to get this bill FIXED to avoid headaches with funding for our specials teachers next year. Let’s avoid having our teachers worry for another year about having their jobs. Let’s avoid potential layoffs next year by getting the money appropriated this year. Ask Senators to AMEND HB13 on the SENATE floor today! If this is their intention, then putting it into the bill this year should be no problem, right?

Ask Senators to amend the bill to add a guarantee of funding for specials teachers for next year in the two-year budget they are working on right now. ASK THEM TO PUT A GUARANTEE OF MONEY IN THE BUDGET to give school districts the planning time they need to keep their teachers in the classroom!

If HB13 is not amended to add money, this will NOT be addressed until the NEXT legislative session, the short session that starts in May 2018 — this is later in districts’ budgeting process than right now! May 2018 will be TOO LATE for many school districts whose teachers will have moved on to find other jobs or will have been dismissed due to lack of funding.

IF THE SENATORS DO NOT ADD THE FUNDING GUARANTEE NOW before the bill returns to the HOUSE for a final vote, OUR TEACHERS AND PARENTS will be left to worry and fret for another 12 months. This is not the way to run our public schools – ACT TODAY!! ASK NOW!!! This is the critical moment in this fight for funding.

Senators have the DATA needed! All of the information needed for the reports that Senator Barefoot wants to so he and other Senators can ALLOCATE money for K-3 teachers and for SPECIALS is in PowerSchool (NCDPI database) right now. This means that all of the Senators have this data NOW and can use it to make all assumptions needed NOW to figure out exactly what appropriations are needed to FUND Specials in 2018-19.

Senators promised to add this language in the Amendment last night and at the last moment they excluded the language leaving the HB13 fix ONLY half done.

BOTTOM LINE: The data needed to make the appropriation in the NEW two-year budget is in PowerSchool database and in the hands of our legislators at this time. The request is simple: put money in the budget now by amending HB13 now to include appropriation for Specials in 2018-19 school year.

To be clear, legislators are to be praised for advocating for smaller class sizes! All public education advocates are for smaller class sizes but not supportive of unfunded mandates or unrealistic implementation plans. The unintended consequences must be dealt with if our goal is to have great public schools that offer the best learning experiences for our youngest children.

Here is a WIN-WIN proposal: Encourage legislators to provide the money for teachers and SPECIALS NOW! And give local school districts time – 3 to 5 years – to find local funds for new classroom space; time to build and create additional space! Give school districts time to find new teachers or reassign/retrain some of their current staff. The alternative is crowded schools, classes in supply closets or lunchrooms, higher local taxes, lack of teaches or teachers with little or no experiences, and extreme over crowding in the upper grades to accommodate space and teachers for K-3. Right now, class sizes in the grades 4 to 12 are too large in many school districts — we have 35 or more kids in many classes!

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2q3pYrt

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