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The Daily Tar Heel
Town Talk

Teachers ask parents to advocate at state level

While Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools teachers appreciate the teacher breakfasts and volunteer hours, what they really want parents to do is advocate for them.

In a study conducted by the Parent Teacher Association Council — made up of parent representatives from schools across the district — teachers prioritized parent advocacy at the local, state and national levels above other services provided by the Parent Teacher Associations.

“According to our teachers, you’re especially important to them, especially in this legislative climate,” said Jeff Hall, president of the council.

About 530 teachers participated in the study, which asked the educators to rank services like direct classroom help, teacher meals, spirit wear and recognition ceremonies.

Advocacy and supplemental support — the money teachers receive to pay for classroom supplies and snacks — were the highest ranked services, and by a large margin, according to Hall.

“It was pretty sobering to read,” he said.

After reviewing the results, the council brainstormed the ways it could act on the study’s results.

Members of the council hope to keep their individual Parent Teacher Associations informed of upcoming education legislation at the state level so they can advocate for their teachers.

The council also said it will plan an advocacy day during its annual Teacher Appreciation Week.

“Think about what our goals are — why does the PTA exist?” Hall questioned. “If it’s to have car washes and sell t-shirts, that’s great if you’re a t-shirt company. But that might not be what your teachers need or want.”

Many of those surveyed wanted the parent teacher associations to advocate for higher pay for educators.

The study results came after North Carolina was ranked 46th in average teacher salary in a study presented to the North Carolina State Board of Education last year.

In that same study, North Carolina came in last for increasing its teacher’s salaries over the last ten years.

“I mean if we could get to 45th, it would be cool,” Hall said. “We just have to make sure that the people who take care of our most precious resource, the kids we send to school everyday, feel valued. Public education is under assault.”

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