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Quality Public Education

In Harnett County, the quality of public education is far below what our children need and deserve. The decisions we make today will determine whether we continue to spiral downward, or if we build a brighter future for our children and our community. It's time to reflect on the importance of investing in our children's education and their future.

The Current State of Education in Harnett County

  • Low Performance Designation: Harnett County has been identified as a Low Performing School District by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI). In 2022 and 2023, our school system received a failing grade, with no school rated A and one school rated B. Most concerning was that of Harnett's 28 (2002) and 29 (2003) schools, three quarters of the schools were rated as either a D (67%) or an F (7%).
  • Insufficient Funding: The Harnett County Board of Commissioners allocated only $900.90 per pupil in 2022, significantly lower than the North Carolina average of $2,457.04. The data for 2023 is not yet available.
  • Teacher Salaries: Our teachers, the backbone of our education system, earn $2,000 to $6,000 less than those in neighboring counties of Lee, Johnston, Cumberland and Wake. This disparity makes it nearly impossible to attract and retain quality educators.
  • Increased growth has strained school capacity: While the average number of pupils per class in Harnett is in line with the state averages, the schools are over capacity and students are isolated in Huts. Harnett is faced with rapid growth, particularly in regions south of Wake County that are projected to double in the next 15 years. Harnett County must commit to funding school maintenance and new school construction that keeps pace with this growth. 

Kate's Commitment to Public Education

  • Budgeting and Funding: If elected as your BOC representative, Kate will have a voice in determining the county budget, including the portion allocated to education. She will advocate for increased funding for public education, which can be used to hire and retain qualified teachers, upgrade facilities, and implement educational programs.
  • Collaboration: As your County Commissioner, Kate will insist on joint/collaborative work sessions of the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education to address common concerns and work towards shared goals for improving quality of our education system.
  • Advocacy: Kate will advocate for initiatives that benefit students outside the classroom, such as after-school programs, community centers, initiatives promoting literacy and academic support. Beyond the county, Kate will advocate at the state level for increased funding and policies that will positively impact our local education system.

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