Breakfast gives Craven County educators chance to voice concerns


NEW BERN, Craven County - Making sure your children get the education they need can start at the legislative level. A special breakfast held Friday morning gave educators the chance to express ideas and concerns.

Friday's breakfast was a chance for key education players to come together and express some of those concerns and what can be done. One of the more important topics discussed was class size requirements and how exactly principals are going to execute that.

A new law, House Bill 13, will go into effect at the start of the 2018 school year. Principals are asking legislators for more flexibility on the class size caps put on kindergarten through third grade because they say some schools just don't have the numbers.

"Even now at this current school year we have a few shortages at some of our schools so just looking to the future with what's projected with this legislation could cause us to have more needs for teachers," said Debbie Hurts, principal at Gurganus Elementary.

The change could impact arts and physical education classes, so they are asking lawmakers for support to save those classes. Rep. Michael Speciale was the only legislative member at the breakfast. He said they are aware of teacher shortages and are looking into solutions to get more people to want to choose the profession.

"So we'll probably look at some kind of incentive program to get people to think about going into teaching," Speciale said.

The idea here is for the representative to take those concerns back to his colleagues in Raleigh to make sure some things get done here to address those issues. Also on that list was the need for substitutes and retirees and local control of the school calendar.