I am writing in regards to finding funds in the Senate's budget for The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT). I am so thankful that there was a place found in the House budget, however we need a place in the Senate's budget as well.
As a previous participant in an NCCAT seminar, I can not express to you how important of an experience it was for me and my teaching career. I not only grew as an educator, but as a person, with higher goals to implement in my daily life, both inside and outside of my classroom. Education is so important and to have a chance for teachers to learn and experience the opportunities that NCCAT offers is phenomenal. It is such a wonderful center for improving teacher quality, experiencing educator networking, and gaining advocacy in the education field.
As an A. Craig Phillips Honored Educator Scholar for 2010-2011, I was honored to receive this scholoarship at my NCCAT seminar. This scholarship made it possible for me, as well as many others, to attend NCCAT by supplementing the annual state budget. The scholarship covered all the costs associated with my participation in a five-day NCCAT professional development seminar (ie. program materials, instruction, food, lodging and travel), as well as paying for the substitute teacher for my classroom while I attended NCCAT. In addition, I also received $250 for use in my classroom, which purchased interactive reading materials that otherwise would not have been available to my students. This is yet another reason that funding for NCCAT is so important; the funding helps to provide...professional development opportunities to educators across North Carolina that may not otherwise be possible.
Please keep NCCAT a part of the state budget. As the job of an educator is ever changing and more and more challenging in order to produce higher quality student results, the truth remains that students deserve higher quality teachers in their classroom. As one of those educators, I walked into NCCAT as a teacher, but returned to the classroom as a motivated, knowledge enriching educator. We need this opportunity for educators to expand their content knowledge as well as enrich their professional lives. NCCAT is able to ensure that students receive the education they deserve from those higher quality educators. Allowing NCCAT to remain a professional development opportunity for educators will assist in those educators helping develop our students into professionals in their own lives.