The goal of our public schools is to make sure that each child is prepared for career, college or the military – and a rich, productive life. Across the country, and in North Carolina, state legislatures are discussing how to improve public education. It’s important that the changes we make help children succeed and not reduce local control of education by creating more bureaucracy.
Those of us who work in public schools welcome this year’s legislative focus on our schools. We’ve worked hard in Forsyth County to improve public education. Our graduation rate is at an all-time high, and our junior class’ ACT scores exceed all state averages and all of our benchmark districts but one. We have had recent national recognition, including awards for two of our students, one of our teachers and two of our schools. I’ve talked to superintendents in the largest districts across the state, and we share the same interest in making sure that legislation helps us create and sustain better schools.
I am very enthusiastic about House Bill 902, which would build strong schools for the future. It provides strong incentives for schools to partner with business and the community to benefit each student. The bill would establish a North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission. Strengthening our ties to business and the community with these innovation incen-tives will enable us to better prepare students for the workplace of the 21st century.
There is concern among some lawmakers that it will be hard to fund innovation incentives in this session. Delaying this could deny our students some important opportunities.