NAACP advocates quality education

Published 9:45 am Thursday, April 7, 2011

JACKSON — The Northampton County Branch of the NAACP is weighing in on the local Board of Education’s decision to hold off on consolidating high schools.

At Monday night’s regular meeting of the Board of Education, Bennett Taylor, President of Northampton County NAACP, spoke during public comment and asked board members to push for quality education for all students.

At their March meeting, the board voted not to move forward with consolidation during the 2011-12 school year, but to continue the process as it relates to the 2012-13 school year. School officials are studying the matter to combat declining enrollment as well as state budget cuts.

At Monday’s meeting, Taylor said he was speaking out to let people know where the Northampton County NAACP stands on the issue.

He said the NAACP believes that it is the absolute right that every student in the district receives the best education possible by highly qualified and competent teachers and administrators. He added all must have adequate resources to become globally competitive and all facilities must be safe, inviting and conducive to teaching and learning.

“As noted, all students, not just the students at Northampton County High School-East or just the students at Northampton County High School-West/STEM,” he said. “All must be afforded the best education that can be provided.”

Taylor continued by saying education goes beyond the books and the basics and must include teachers, parents, the community, administrators and all stakeholders working toward a common goal of creating successful future citizens.

“If the two high schools will bring about positive changes in provisions for our students, then the board must remember that the improvements must be for the betterment of our students’ future and not about the conveniences of the adults,” he said.

He also urged school officials to press forward for the completion of funding under Leandro vs. State of North Carolina (1997), which ruled all children in the state, whether from a affluent or poor community, have a fundamental state constitutional right to the “equal opportunity to receive a sound basic education.”

Taylor reiterated that regardless to what the board decides all students must be given a quality education no matter which school they attend.

He concluded, “It is for this reason the NAACP strongly believes that all schools in the county must provide the highest standards of excellence in academics, personnel, resources, facilities, extracurricular activities and fiscal funding to afford our students better opportunities to become productive citizens.”

Board Chair Bill Little thanked Taylor for his comments and said they would be taken into consideration.