Our Schools First exists to support, promote, and champion public education in Iredell County and across North Carolina. We work to educate our community about the successes, challenges, and opportunities within our schools, and we work with elected officials and candidates for office to ensure better public schools, together.

We support school children. All students deserve welcoming, safe, clean, and inspiring learning environments in which to study. To best prepare them for success, they require a small class size, professional and prepared teachers, diverse curricula, and multiple opportunities to grow in mind and character.

We support public school teachers. We encourage a professional, appropriate wage and competitive local supplements, as well as a carefully balanced performance award system. Supporting school teachers also means providing adequate funding in the classroom in the form of per-pupil expenditures, funding for textbooks and other materials, and resources for professional development.

We support 21st century classrooms. Our community and state offer a richly diverse spectrum of students, and they prosper in different educational settings. To that end, we support diverse curricula (from International Baccalaureate to early college, from STEM-centered to language immersion), advanced and accessible technology, and programs that prepare graduates for any number of opportunities in life.

We support equity in our public schools. Racially marginalized students and those from diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds must have access to a quality education–and the resulting educational outcomes. We support diverse and inclusive faculties and facilities. We promote programming that identifies and meets the unique socio-cultural needs of each individual student.

We advocate for school children, teachers, and classrooms through promoting good education policy. Our Schools First works to ensure that leaders on the local and state level promote sensible education policy that is forward-thinking, fiscally sound, and protective of public schools. While we work primarily with traditional public schools, we believe students should have the option of public charters, provided those schools receive adequate resources and are held accountable. We do not support charters run by for-profit organizations.

We secure the future by helping leaders and candidates who want to help public schools. OS1 provides support through advocacy, advancing issues, and sharing information about community and state leaders and candidates for those offices. Our decision to support candidates is centered only on education issues, not around party affiliation.