LWV-Wake President Speaks to House Committee on an Education System For North Carolina's Future
HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON AN EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR NORTH CAROLINA'S FUTURE
Monday, May 9th
My name is Cheryl Tung, and I serve as president of the League of Women Voters of Wake County. I am making comments today on behalf of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. I would like to thank this committee for providing citizens with opportunities to speak through public hearings and an online portal. In the 54 pages of comment provided, it was clear that the citizens of North Carolina want a public school system that is fully and equitably funded and staffed with well-paid quality teachers that address the needs of ALL students.
The League of Women Voters of NC believes that quality public education is one of the best investments our state government can make, providing immense social and economic benefits for individuals and society. Individuals with access to high quality education have a decreased reliance on government programs and lower rates of incarceration, services which are costly to taxpayers. Education is effective in reducing poverty and inequality, which in turn leads to sustained economic growth. North Carolina’s economy relies on a wide range of job skills, including hi-tech, trade and essential service workers. The challenge is to provide children with an education that prepares them for successful careers and also allows them to thrive in a diverse society. However, it must start with an affirmation by this legislature that the current state of our public education system cannot meet this challenge.
North Carolina has not adequately or equitably funded public education for the past two
decades. The Leandro ruling affirmed the constitutional right for every child to have the
opportunity of a sound basic education. The League of Women Voters calls on this State Legislature to make the investments in public education that will improve the low performing and high poverty school districts, provide access to high quality pre-kindergarten for every child, addresses the inadequacies of teacher pay and retention and provides multiple career pathways that enable students to thrive in an increasingly competitive world. We ask the question “Will this legislature muster the political will and do the right thing?” We cannot continue to fail our children and teachers… for the cost of education failure is more costly to our society than implementing the Leandro plan.