My name is Carter Elmore and I am a second grade public school teacher who works for Wake County Public Schools. I recently received an alarming e-mail from my colleagues at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) stating that all funding is potentially going to be cut for the program. I am very concerned about this, as I had the pleasure of attending an education technology session last year located in Cullowee.
To give you a snapshot of the session, I learned about a myriad of different tools to enhance my students' education and worked individually, in small and large groups, and with my mentors over a four-day intensive working session. The session was excellent for furthering my knowledge of teaching with technology and in enhancing my team-building skills with other teachers. The session was a lot of hard work but very fulfilling. I truly believe that the session achieved NCCAT's goal: To advance the quality and effectiveness of the teaching profession.
I completely understand the difficult decisions you have ahead of you with large deficits and finding which programs to cut in our state. I implore you to find another means of saving money, as killing the NCCAT program will have dire consequences; the most pertinent being a higher teacher "burn-out" rate. Also, as a public educator, I have not had a raise in the past three years and there are not any financial perks of being a teacher. If NCCAT is taken away from North Carolina educators, it will be another blow to the public education profession in North Carolina and will continue the process of doing more with less, something teachers have had to deal with for years.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration of this issue. Cutting all funding for NCCAT may look good on the books but will have negative consequences for our youth, as teachers who do not attend NCCAT sessions are statistically more likely to leave the teaching profession.
Please read the information below:
Data shows a higher rate of retention for NCCAT teachers than for NC teachers who have not attended NCCAT (96% NCCAT versus 90% for NC); for beginning teachers the difference is far greater (81.8% NCCAT versus 60% for NC). Many of the proposed budget cuts will further undermine the potential to retain new teachers (elimination of mentor funding); this reinforces the need for the beginning teacher support provided through NCCAT.