Part of the role of the PTA is to let our parents know about important issues in the state legislature. This is an item that I feel very passionate about, so I wanted to share this information with all of you. Please share as you see fit. *WE* are the advocates for our children, so if you feel strongly about this issue, please take action today.
What's Going On?
I think we can all agree that we support smaller classes sizes. The NC Legislature has passed legislation to reduce class sizes in K-3 classrooms starting in the 2017-2018 school year (which starts in August).
Smaller classes for the same number of students will require the hiring of more classroom teachers. However, the bill passed without considering how to pay for these extra teachers. According to one email I read, in Wake County alone this means 460 more teachers in the county system, with no additional budget to pay for these positions.
As a result, ALL PE, Art, and Music teachers could be let go in order to pay for the extra classroom teachers. This means NO PE, ART, or MUSIC specials in any North Carolina school.
As you know, our PE, Art, and Music teachers are a valued asset at Swift Creek. Specials enable our students to express themselves in ways that can't be measured on a test. Imagine no Basketball Club next year, no chorus, no new murals on our school walls. Ms. Graves, Ms. Sutton, and Mrs. Schwartz do all of these things in addition to their influences in the classroom.
In addition, imagine the extra burden this puts on our classroom teachers. Specials are often used as planning periods for our teachers. Everything I read says that students learn better in dynamic, creative environments. In my opinion, our specials help us teach the whole student, not just focus on a test score.
As a Parent, What Can I Do?
Currently, there is a bill called HB13 in the state legislature. This bill modifies the original class size legislation by protecting specials. However, this bill is stuck in committee.
If you want to keep PE, Art, and Music in our child's education (and in the education of all students in North Carolina), call or email your State Senator. Share this information with other parents.
Please understand -- This is something that affects all public schools in North Carolina. It is not a Wake County decision or a Swift Creek decision!
Also, you can sign this petition from the North Carolina Association of Education:
Thanks for your time and attention in this important matter!
PTA President and Concerned Parent