If you live in North Carolina, join with parents, teachers, and other citizens, join the fight to save public schools. Join Public Schools First North Carolina.

And please attend this meeting:

To educate or not to educate in NC

Apr 12, 2013 | Written by Patsy Keever OPINION

Our rulers in Raleigh are answering that question for us with bills that they could vote into law to change everything from how Carolina and State are funded, to whether tax money ought to be used for church schools, to whether or not “Hamlet” needs to be taught to “tech” kids. If our local legislators do not hear from us, they will vote on these bills in a vacuum — which is contrary to representative democracy.

We have two education commandments in North Carolina. The first was spoken a century ago by Gov. Charles B. Aycock, our first education governor, “You cannot do the best for your child unless you also do the best for my child.”

The second is from our state Constitution, which mandates that “The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools, which shall be maintained at least nine months in every year, and wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students.”

Pretty simple. Education for all of our students is our ultimate long- range economic development tool, our best defense against politicians who would mislead us, and our moral and constitutional duty. How do we work together to ensure that all of our children get the best possible education? How do we ensure that the limited funds are fairly distributed? How do we ensure that our school personnel have the tools and resources they need? How do we incorporate the best ideas into all of our schools? How do we keep a positive attitude and continue to do the best for all our children?
What can you do?

On April 23, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Asheville City Schools boardroom on Mountain Street, Public Schools First North Carolina, a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit is hosting a gathering of parents, school personnel and the general public to provide information about pending legislation, to identify resources and to hear ideas and suggestions from the attendees. Asheville City Schools Foundation and Children First are co-sponsors of the meeting.

At a time when the citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County are facing water control issues, airport control issues and election issues, we cannot lose sight of the most long-lasting and important responsibility — our children’ s education. We can choose to sleep through this — but in doing so, who knows what nightmares may come? And that is the rub. See you on the 23rd.

Patsy Keever is a former teacher, former Buncombe County commissioner, former state representative and current public school advocate.