I know you are probably receiving lots of mail and comments about the budget, and your job is a very difficult one to try and please as much of the state as possible with the money available. I am a high school teacher in Wilmington and I am writing to ask that you please continue to fund the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT). I have attended two seminars in my fifteen year NC teaching career. Those two weeks have been by far the best professional development that I have attended anywhere. The quality of instruction and relevance to the true job of teaching were incredible. They have helped me stay motivated as a learner myself, and then pass that enthusiasm and spark on to my students.
I have heard that some people think NCCAT is a paid vacation for teachers, but that is not the case. For the few days it takes place, the residential aspect and being away from both school and home allow the teacher to truly focus on just that seminar and the fellowship and collaboration with other involved and caring teachers from across the state. As you may know, the retention rate of teachers who have attended an NCCAT seminar is above the state and national averages. NCCAT is a unique and successful component of North Carolina's public education system, please do all you can to continue to allow it to exist and serve the coming generation of NC citizens. North Carolina needs teachers who have the desire to continue learning themselves, and who can then inspire others to keep learning and especially to graduate.