Introducing the OS1 Newsletter

We’ve spent some time listening to you about what you’d like from Our Schools First, and we wanted to try something out–a newsletter bringing you local and state news about public education topics of note.

Two important caveats: first, we’ll sometimes share op-eds or articles from sources that are right or left-leaning. And second, the news items we share aren’t necessarily opinions we endorse or condone. Just like teachers know to use a variety of sources in their classrooms to promote good discussion, we know that simply putting an issue in front of you, even if neither of us agrees with its point, can be helpful.

Finally, we’re excited to announce what is likely a small change to you, but a big change for us: Our Schools First has reorganized as a 501(c)(4). We will have more to share on what that change means soon. That said, onward to this week’s round-up of public ed news and op-eds!

James Hogan
Spokesperson, OS1

NO. 1: Early college, volunteerism, James Ford interview, teacher pay, and one Republican’s take on the ed budget


Early College at North Approved
Earlier this year, when the I-SS Board of Education proposed putting an early college program at North Iredell High School, several members of the school’s FFA chapter worried the program could negatively impact their participation. The Board of Education and school officials have worked hard to help solve that problem and bring early college degrees in agriculture–and business and arts–to North Iredell. Read on.

I-SS puts in more than 100k hours of service
At Woodland Heights Elementary, students and staff there volunteered nearly 10,000 hours of their time in service to their school and community. And across the I-SS district, students and staff volunteered more than 103,000 hours. Those service hours add up into something fantastic for our school system. Read on.

Getting to know MGSD’s new souper, Dr. Stephen Mauney
After Mark Edwards’ retirement as superintendent of Mooresville Graded Schools, the local board kept things “in the family,” hiring one of their own. The Mooresville Trib offers this profile. Read on.

ICYMI: Cool Spring Ribbon Cutting
OS1 was thrilled to be part of the opening ceremonies for the new Cool Spring Elementary School. CSES is the first completed project of the 2014 education bond referendum, and it was finished on time and under budget. Read on.


Public Education is an issue we should all care about
CharlotteFive interviewed 2014-15 NC Teacher of the Year James Ford about why you should care about public education–even if you don’t have kids. It’s worth a listen. Note–Ford’s interview starts at about 17:30 into the podcast. Listen here.

Are teacher salaries competitive?
Teacher salaries have been in the news a lot this election year, and they’ve turned into a big part of the political dialogue at the state level. Republicans say they’ve been hard at work raising salaries out of the nation-wide basement. Democrats say it’s not enough. Kris Nordstrom writes in the Progressive Pulse that we should be aiming for competitive pay, not just teacher salaries in other states. Read on.

Bill Brawley: Republicans Love Teachers
NC House Rep. Bill Brawley (R-103) shares this long look at what the 2016 education budget does for teachers. His article seeks to bust myths that teacher pay hasn’t improved and that classroom funding isn’t what it should be. Take a look and let us know what you think. Read on.

We’d love your feedback

This newsletter format is still in the draft/experimental stage. Please let us know what resonates with you–what stands out, what you want to see more or less of, what you didn’t see, etc. And if you think Bill Brawley doesn’t know what he’s talking about, let us know that, too.

Simply reply to this email, or send your thoughts to info (at) ourschoolsfirst (dot) com.

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