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Districts across NC participate in ‘Bring Your Legislator to School Day’

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North Carolina Bring Your Legislator to School Day took place on Monday. Ahead of the day, more than 60 legislators had accepted the invitation.

“Public schools belong to all of us, and legislators from all over the state showed us today how much they believe that’s true,” 2022 Teacher of the Year Leah Carper said. “We all play a role in ensuring the success of our schools — educators, parents, students, taxpayers, policymakers, and … everyone.”

2022 Principal of the Year Patrick Greene said, “Thank you to all of the representatives and educators that made today a success!!”

The invitation to to visit schools was extended by the N.C. Teacher of the Year Network, the N.C. Principal of the Year Network, and the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Legislators serving in the N.C. General Assembly were invited to visit schools in their respective jurisdictions and engage with school communities, according to a press release.

“Bring Your Legislator to School Day fosters lasting relationships between North Carolina’s public schools and the legislators who represent them. In my experience, this initiative paves the way for proactive engagement and collaboration between those shaping public education policy and the communities impacted by their decisions,” said 2022 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year Ashtyn Berry. “When legislators walk the halls of our schools, converse with educators, and engage with students, they intentionally create opportunities for our voices to be heard, ensuring that they can carry our perspectives with them to Raleigh.”

Bring Your Legislator to School Day was introduced to create an opportunity for legislators to experience the day-to-day reality of North Carolina’s elementary and secondary schools for a better understanding of what is working well for students and educators as well as the challenges they face, according to the press release.

During visits, legislators engaged in walk-throughs of schools with principals and superintendents, and they participated in conversations with students, parents, and teachers.

“I met with the student council, read a book to kindergarteners, listened to third graders sing, and met a bunch of crayons!,” said Rep. Julie von Haefen.

“Bring Your Legislator to School Day is a great opportunity for those responsible for education policy and funding decisions to talk directly to those who are most impacted,” said Public School Forum Executive Director Dr. Mary Ann Wolf. “We know that teachers and principals have the largest influence on student outcomes, and we are thrilled to support the ongoing collaboration between our schools and our policymakers.”

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.