A Sound Basic Education from Pre-K to Community College

To paraphrase my father, knowledge is the one thing they can't take away from you. Paraphrasing my mother, you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it.

In 1997 the North Carolina Supreme Court in the Leandro case determined that every child is entitled to a sound basic education. Our young people need a sound, basic education to thrive in the multidimensional 21st century society — whether they choose a career in the sciences or in the creative arts.

The Leandro case is evidence that we need to take critical steps to improve our learning environments. Our efforts should focus on eliminating the achievement gaps among our students and addressing the disparities in our education system across North Carolina. 

Learning should begin at an early age. Every child should have access to early childcare services, and every child should have the opportunity to reap the benefits of pre-K schooling. 

Community colleges also play a critical role in transforming young lives and advancing careers. These institutions usher students into careers, support young adults aging out of foster care, and assist adults changing professions. 

I believe our state legislature has a responsibility to help fulfill the promise of a sound, basic education by investing in our students, school facilities, early childhood education, public school teachers and staff, and community colleges.