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PTA Advocacy Alert

PTA Advocacy Alert

WHAT: House Bill Law 13 (HB-13) –  Legislators should provide funding for reduced K-3 class sizes and phase in mandate during special session January 10. 
WHY is this important? Starting in July, the average class size in K-3rd grades will drop from 20 students this school year to roughly 17. Charlotte-Mecklenburg school leaders told legislators that it could cost $23 million to hire 353 more K-3 teachers to meet the new class sizes.
Smaller classrooms would be ideal, right? Who doesn’t want smaller classrooms for their children? Unfortunately this is an UNFUNDED initiative. Without the money to support these changes, it will fall on the district and school’s shoulders to “figure it out” in order to be in accordance of the law. If lawmakers pass this bill unfunded there could be MAJOR consequences for HES and NC schools:
–       the need for more teachers and classroom space (there are already 7 K classrooms)
–       reassignment of current teachers to other classes
–       overcrowding in 4th and 5th grade classes since there would not be a cap on those grades
–       loss of space for specials to make room for classrooms.  Specials could move to “carts”
–       loss of other spaces (stage, media center, other areas) to make classrooms
–       shifting of remediation specialists to teaching classrooms
ACTION NEEDED – HOW TO HELP: 
  • The most effective would be to contact our representatives in the NC General Assembly. Since the legislators meet tomorrow, calling today is critical! A script is below that you can either call or email. Make sure to include your city.
    Representative Craig Horn: Craig.Horn@ncleg.net, 919-733-2406
    Representative Linda Johnson: linda.johnson2@ncleg.net, 919-733-5861
My name is _____. I live in Huntersville in Mecklenburg County. I am calling to express my concern regarding HB-13. I support reduced classroom sizes, however not without appropriate funding. I cannot support the destruction of supporting classes and services that would be necessary to meet the HB-13 requirements. The General Assembly must increase funds to schools to comply with HB-13. Additionally, the deadline of 2018 needs to be extended as it is impossible to create space in schools and hire qualified teachers in 6 months.
Thank you for voting to increase school funding and provide additional time for our schools to comply.
  • Join the conversation with the #classsizechaos hashtag 
Twitter handles to follow:
Jeff Tarte: @JeffTarteNC
NC Legislators: @NCLeg
NC Association of Educators: @ncae
North Carolina PTA: @PTA4AllKids
 More information:
 Article from the Charlotte Observer
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article192964969.html
 Please help spread the word about this very important cause!

THANK YOU for taking the time to advocate for our students!