NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly: Josh Stein “Best for Education”
“Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson would be the most anti-educator, anti-public school governor our state has seen.”
As students head back to school this month, Cumberland teacher and NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly is making it clear why she is supporting Attorney General Josh Stein for Governor. In an op-ed published today in the Fayetteville Observer, Walker Kelly highlighted Stein’s work championing public schools in the legislature and as Attorney General, writing: “Josh Stein is the leader I trust when our kids’ futures are in the balance.”
Walker Kelly laid out the stakes of this election–in her words, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson “would be the most anti-educator, anti-public school governor” in North Carolina history. She cited his support for eliminating science and history from elementary schools and vilifying educators as “wicked people.”
She gave the following advice to parents and voters: “Listen to which candidate uplifts the great work of our public schools and which candidate speaks negatively of the hard work that teachers do every single day.”
The Fayetteville Observer: Cumberland teacher, NCAE president: Josh Stein best for education
- It’s Back to School season. Parents are pulling out the school supply lists. As we’re comparing deals on pencils and preparing for the new school year, parents and teachers have another choice on the horizon: Will the next governor of North Carolina be a champion of public education?
- This question could not be more urgent. As a share of the state’s GDP, North Carolina already ranks 50th in the country in K-12 public school funding — but some lawmakers are trying to make school budgets even tighter. They want to send your tax dollars to private schools, creating two systems: One public system, accountable to you as a community and one very unaccountable private system. North Carolina needs to invest in public schools to give every child, regardless of zip code, race and income, the chance to succeed.
- This is my 17th year as a music teacher from Cumberland County Schools and starting my fourth year as President of the North Carolina Association of Educators. Across the state, low teacher pay has our schools struggling to fill vacancies.
- In addition, teachers I know are paying for students’ school supplies out of their own wallets. Public education is supposed to be about giving everyone — no matter your zip code — an equal shot. By not fully funding public schools we move our state backwards and undermine our kids’ ability to compete.
- If we can’t count on the state legislature to fully fund our public schools, then we’re going to need a governor who will fight for them. Josh Stein, our Attorney General, is that person. He’s a product of North Carolina public schools and a proud parent of public school graduates.
- In the State Senate, he proved his commitment to ensuring our kids get a quality education time and time again by advocating for greater public investment in our schools and fighting back against efforts to prioritize tax giveaways to corporate shareholders that shortchanged our kids.
- And he’s kept fighting for them even after they walk off the high school graduation stage. As Attorney General, he’s won back millions of dollars for college students defrauded by for-profit universities and taken advantage of by predatory lenders. His focus has helped our kids to move on to higher education without the fear of being ripped off.
- We are also grateful for the work his team at the Department of Justice did arguing the landmark Leandro case, because it is past time for North Carolina to uphold its constitutional obligation to students and adequately fund our schools.
- When he is governor, I know Josh Stein will bolster public education from pre-kindergarten through community college and university, including our HBCUs, and ensure that when students graduate from high school, they have the skills and knowledge to succeed, whether starting college or a career. And he’ll fight to raise teacher pay to at least the national average, while standing up for all staff that keep our schools running, including school nurses, counselors, janitors and bus drivers.
- The other candidate, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson would be the most anti-educator, anti-public school governor our state has seen. As lieutenant governor, he spends his time fighting culture wars instead of fighting for North Carolina schools; attacking public schools and educators instead of working for solutions.
- He wants to get rid of science and history in elementary schools. And just the other week, he referred to public school educators as “wicked people.” He does not understand the sacrifices we make and the experience we bring – and he does not want to. Young people across North Carolinians will suffer if Mark Robinson is governor.
- With the election just next year, we must start thinking carefully about what type of leader we want in the governor’s office — and what we don’t. We don’t need a governor who demonizes teachers, bans books or guts our schools’ budgets.
- Instead, we need someone who will value teachers and all public school staff, invest in our kid’s futures, and keep our classrooms safe. And you don’t have to take my word for it — pay attention over the next year and learn about how each of the candidates talks about our schools. Listen to which candidate uplifts the great work of our public schools and which candidate speaks negatively of the hard work that teachers do every single day.
- Josh Stein is the leader I trust when our kids’ futures are in the balance. That’s why we endorsed Attorney General, Josh Stein to be the next Governor of North Carolina.