Wake PTA Advocacy 2020 Election & Census Information
2020 is an important year for both the election on November 3, 2020 and the Census. Please take time to read through this information and be sure you do your part to help our community. Have questions or need assistance with any of these items? Contact Wake PTA Advocacy Chair Lisa Mead at Advocacy@WakePTA.org
WHY IS THE CENSUS IMPORTANT?
Results are used to help determine:Wake
- How more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities. These funds are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
- The number of seats each state gets in Congress.
- How state and local officials draw boundaries for congressional districts, state legislative districts and school districts.
Wake County receives billions of dollars in federal funding each year based on the results of the census.
What happens if we don’t get a complete count? Using estimates for census-driven funding, we can estimate the at-risk funds in Wake County due to nonresponse. If Wake County has a 68% response rate, that will mean 32% undercount with a possible funding loss of over $51.5 million annually.
HOW DO I COMPLETE THE CENSUS?
The census count that we are taking right now will impact our community planning for the next 10 years.
Learn more at 2020census.gov and respond now. You can also call to respond by phone from 7am to 2am Eastern Time every day:
- English: 844-330-2020
- Spanish: 844-468-2020
If you prefer to respond in another language, these services are offered Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm:
- Chinese (Mandarin): 844-391-2020
- Chinese (Cantonese): 844-398-2020
- Vietnamese: 844-461-2020
- Korean: 844-392-2020
- Russian: 844-417-2020
- Arabic: 844-416-2020
- Tagalog: 844-478-2020
- Polish: 844-479-2020
- French: 844-494-2020
- Haitian Creole: 844-477-2020
- Portuguese: 844-474-2020
- Japanese: 844-460-2020
This information is from http://www.wakegov.com/census and more information is available at that link. The census wants to count ALL families–citizens, residents, visa-holders, those without papers, those without homes–everyone!
2020 ELECTION INFORMATION
Each WCPSS School’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a nonprofit organization that is part of the Wake PTA Council, NC PTA, and National PTA. As a nonprofit, we cannot advise you on who to vote for in any election. We may only focus on issues related to our mission. PTA is first and foremost an advocacy organization. We advocate for “Every child. One voice.” PTA encourages its members to be involved in using their voices to look out for ALL Children, not just their own. One of the ways we ensure we are looking out for every child in our school and in Wake County Public Schools is by exercising our right to vote. We have the opportunity to use our voice in the ballot box to support candidates who support public education. #VoteProPublicEducation
For all the information and links to register to vote, check your voter registration, request an absentee ballot, update your address, find your polling place, or track the status of an absentee ballot, visit https://bit.ly/WakeVoters to be connected to the Wake County Voter Information site.
DATES TO REMEMBER
- October 9, 2020 5:00pm— Voter Registration Deadline–YOU MUST register to vote by this deadline. You must also update your change of address by this deadline as well.
- October 15-31 Early Voting at select locations–Locations and Times WakeVotesEarly.com
- October 27 5:00pm–Last Day to request an Absentee Ballot–Full Details https://bit.ly/WakeVotersAbsentee (We advise you to request this as soon as possible and not wait until the deadline due to increased demand.)
- Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Election Day Polls are open from 6:30am-7:30pm. NO ID is required. Use YOUR precinct https://bit.ly/WakeVoters2 for full details.
Lead With Leandro
Have you heard of the Leandro Court Case mentioned in the news? “Leandro” was a class-action lawsuit filed against the State in 1994, because NC was not meeting its Constitutional obligation to provide a “sound basic education” to every child in NC. It was ruled that NC was not adequately or equitably funding public schools to meet the Constitution’s requirements. In 2017, the state agreed to stop fighting and instead work to reach a solution to provide the needed funding. A massive study, the WestEd Report, came from this agreement that has identified specific and actionable changes that we can make to educate every child .https://www.ncforum.org/leandro/ For the first time, NC has a road map for change. The road map for success is extensively researched, sets clear benchmarks, and creates achievable goals.
EveryChildNC is a coalition of organizations, parents, and student groups from across the state working together to ensure the WestEd report gets followed by our elected officials. Wake County PTA Council is part of this coalition. We encourage you to read more and sign the pledge to #LeadWithLeandro and hold our elected officials accountable at EveryChildNC.org.
2020 Election Information
HOW TO SPOT A PRO-PUBLIC EDUCATION CANDIDATE
It can be tricky to determine whether a candidate for public office is a supporter of public education — almost every candidate says they support education. But the way in which candidates speak about public schools can provide insight into how they would lead.
They must at least mention education Occasionally, you will come across a candidate who doesn’t mention education at all on their campaign website. That candidate, no matter how appealing they may be on other issues, is showing that either they haven’t put any thought into education, or that they do not want voters to know their positions on the subject.
Look for Specific Policy Statements It’s easy to declare oneself supportive of education, but a pro-public education candidate will say how, specifically, they plan to support public education. Here’s an example of a specific policy statement that signals that the candidate supports public education:
Today North Carolina spends almost $4,000 less per student than the national average, and we are ranked #28 out of 50 states in terms of K-12 educational outcomes, per U.S. News & World Report. Our children deserve better. We need to raise education spending to at least the national average to ensure our children have the opportunities they deserve and for North Carolina to prosper.
Look for “code words” This often arises with the use of the word “choice.” Candidates will couch their support of education in terms of parental choice, and will sometimes go so far as to tie the idea of choice to equity: as in “income or zip code should not dictate access to better schools.” But if the candidate’s solution to inequities in our public education system is to send children to private schools instead, that candidate is not an advocate for public education. This is particularly, urgently true if the candidate is seeking a school board position, where a belief in the idea of public schools should be a minimum qualification for being put in charge of running those schools.
In school board races, other words/phrases that should raise alarm bells are “forced bussing,” “accountability” and (sometimes) neighborhood schools.
Understanding of what their office can and cannot do Occasionally, a candidate will make a statement about their plans with regard to education that shows they do not understand the powers they will (or will not) have in office. For example, a candidate in 2018, running for the NC House, told his supporters that he would end local school reassignments. However, the Legislature doesn’t have the power to determine school assignments; that is the school board’s job. Similarly, a school board candidate who claims they will demand that schools use only certain types of educational materials or curricula doesn’t understand that many curriculum and funding decisions are made at the state level. Many curriculum decisions are made by staff or within strict parameters of state guidelines.
HOW TO SPOT A PRO-PUBLIC EDUCATION CANDIDATE
Look at the Candidate’s Close Supporters and their Social Media Particularly in smaller races, it can be very instructive to look at the social media of a candidate’s closest supporters. Many candidates are now savvy enough to refrain from social media posts that overtly state their positions on issues, but sometimes
looking at the statements of their supporters posts is illuminating, especially if the candidate has given those supporters a position advising the campaign. One school board candidate, for example, has seven people on their campaign staff; four of them have posted highly inflammatory statements of disdain for public schooling, and have stated their support for slashing school funding. Those views cannot necessarily be imputed to the candidate, but it does indicate the types of people who the candidate trusts and listens to.
PTA Parent is not a Qualification While it is admirable for a candidate to be involved in helping their child’s school, the mere fact that a candidate is willing to help their own children does not mean they support equitable education for all children. Be wary of PTA involvement being used as evidence of support for education, especially when that is the only specific evidence they provide.
Look for Signatories of the Every Child NC Pledge Each legislative candidate in 2020 will be asked to sign Every Child NC’s pledge to work towards Leandro Compliance. Candidates who sign are at least signaling that they are aware of their Leandro responsibilities and are willing to be held accountable for meeting them. Everychildnc.org
Look for Endorsements There are a number of education-related groups that have formal endorsement processes for candidates. Their endorsements carry some weight in determining whether a candidate supports public education.
Past Leadership History This is helpful for incumbent candidates, or candidates who have held a different public office in the past. A candidate’s website provides only a starting point for researching incumbent candidates. Further research can be time consuming, but look for big education issues in the past couple years. There are many bills that have conflicting ideas, but if you want to take the time to look at voter history you might be able to get a sense of the candidate’s willingness to cross party lines in the name of education.
Ask Direct Questions Often, candidates will hold open houses or town halls as part of their campaign, and right now many of these events are virtual. If you have time, attend those meetings and ask the candidates about their support for education. Some good questions: Will the candidate pledge to stand for Leandro compliance? What is the candidate’s stance on private school vouchers and the expansion of charter schools? What do they intend to do about the opportunity gaps that still exist in North Carolina?
“How To Spot A Pro-Public Education Candidate” developed by EveryChildNC.org Coalition.