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Welcome To Proclaiming Public Education

October 4, 2021

On September 8th at the Leandro v. NC Court Hearing, Judge Lee requested the FINAL FINAL plan from the State of North Carolina as to how the state will implement the first few years of the 7 year Leandro Plan that the Court adopted earlier this year on recommendation by the West Ed report and the Plaintiffs and Defendants in the case. The FINAL FINAL report court hearing to receive it is on Monday, October 18th. With this timeline in place, Every Child NC Coalition partners have launched a Countdown to Compliance Campaign leading up to October 18th including a Week of Action to raise awareness about the case.

PNCC is proud to be  involved in these upcoming events including hosting our FIRST BIG IN PERSON EVENT on October 18th, and we NEED YOU THERE!. Three more events will help prepare us for the 18th Prayer Vigil for Children and the Leandro Plan. Please join in with as many as you can! 

Prayer Vigil for Children and the Leandro Plan

On Monday, October 18th, PNCC is hosting "A Prayer Vigil for Children and the Leandro Plan" along with our partners at Every Child NC. It will be held in Bicentennial Plaza across from the NC General Assembly at 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601. Masks are required and clergy are encouraged to wear collars, stoles, or other clergy attire. Bring a camping chair if you prefer to sit. Details and Map available: 
https://pastorsforncchildren.org/home/events/1018-2/

The NC Council of Churches and other groups will be standing with us and all allies are invited to join and stand along side us in support. Interested in having you and/or your group join us as allies to stand up for Leandro, let Director Suzanne know you'll be there! RSVP: http://bit.ly/PNCC1018


We are gathering

  • to lament the loss of support services and learning opportunities that would have otherwise benefitted millions of children – for each of the 27 years since the Leandro case began.
  • to call on the State Legislature to fulfill its constitutional and moral duties to the children of North Carolina – to give every student what they need to succeed and flourish at school.
  • with our Ecumenical and Interfaith allies who believe that loving our neighbors includes loving children and providing for their educational needs. 

WE NEED YOU THERE!! THANK YOU!!!!

Lunch and Learn: The Moral Imperative To Fund The Leandro Plan

On Tuesday, October 12th, PNCC is joining with the NC Council of Churches and Every Child NC to host a Lunch and Learn on Zoom entitled: The Moral Imperative to Fund The Leandro Plan. This Lunch and Learn will feature speakers Kris Nordstrom of the NC Justice Center and Letha Muhammad of the Education Justice Alliance. They will discuss what the Leandro v. NC Court Case is, why it matters, and why people of faith need to be paying attention to this important case! They will also discuss how the lack of adequate educational opportunities across NC has harmed our most vulnerable students–including our Black, Hispanic, Latinx, and Indigenous children. Grab your lunch and listen in! Register here: https://www.ncchurches.org/event-single/lunch-and-learn-countdown-to-compliance-the-moral-imperative-to-fund-the-leandro-plan/

Binkley Baptist Rally for Public Education

On Saturday, October 9th, Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill is hosting a Public Education Rally on the church lawn. It will be from 11:30am to 1pm at 1712 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, 27514. Ice Cream will be served afterwards. PNCC will have a table at this event, so stop by to say hi and pick up one of our "Postcard Party in a Bag" goodie bags for yourself and a friend!

On Sunday, October 10th, Binkley Baptist is also hosting Education Sunday during their 11am Worship service on the lawn. Executive Director the Rev. Suzanne Parker Miller is the Guest Preacher along with other special guests who are joining in the service. If you're free, come join in! 

COMING SOON

Would your congregation, community or social group be invested in learning how you can easily get involved in supporting public schools in your community? We are launching Mission Amplify in January 2022. It is a monthly postcard/letter writing campaign to legislators asking them to support specific topics each month related to public education and the Leandro Plan. We would love to talk to you about this opportunity. Let us know of your interest: https://bit.ly/MissionAmplifyInterest

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Wednesday, October 27th @ 10am-- Ministry Leaders Gatherings

We host a Ministry Leaders Gathering on the 4th Wednesday of the Month from 10-11am for any clergy, faith leaders, education advocates, or anyone interested in learning more about PNCC. We have a time to check in with each other, share announcements and opportunities for advocacy, and upcoming events. It's an informal gathering, so grab a cup of coffee and join us! Invite your colleagues and friends as well. Register for the Zoom gathering here. 
 

#LEANDRO UPDATES

From our Every Child NC Coalition Partners: NC Early Education Coalition:
Learn more about the Leandro Case and join the
Countdown to Compliance campaign!
The landmark case of Leandro v. State of North Carolina affirms every child’s state constitutional right to a sound, basic education beginning in early childhood. For more than 25 years, since five low-wealth school districts brought forth the lawsuit known as Leandro, children in our state have been denied the education they are constitutionally owed.

Two weeks from today, October 18th, is the deadline that Judge Lee gave policymakers to fully fund the court-ordered comprehensive plan to provide every child with a sound, basic education beginning in early childhood. Failure to comply will trigger the court to take action to ensure the state meets its constitutional obligation. The countdown to compliance is on!

 
This latest development in the decades-old court case is an important step in the process and would have a big impact on young children, their families, and their educators. Leandro is an opportunity for our state to advance equity, change systems, and deliver on the promise of an opportunity for every child to fulfill their potential. If North Carolina doesn’t get the foundational early childhood pieces right, we’ll still be missing the mark for far too many children.

Please join our partners at Every Child NC for a webinar this Thursday, October 7th at 7pm for an in-depth update on the Leandro case, community response, and how you can get involved in the Countdown to Compliance Campaign.
This is an investment that we simply can't afford not to make. It is time for the state to address the constitutional rights and the education needs of all children. Register now to learn more about how to make your voice heard and join the fight to ensure all of North Carolina's children receive a sound, basic education beginning in early childhood.
 

Be A Leandro Advocate

As NC community members, we need NC to invest in all our children's future. PNCC is here to help connect the faith community to the systemic changes needed. PNCC is a founding partner in the Every Child Coalition of over 40 groups from across the state working together to #LeadWithLeandro and fully implement the 8 year (2020-2028) Leandro Plan. This Coalition is encouraging NC to FULLY IMPLEMENT the LeandroPlan approved by the courts in the Leandro v. NC Court Case. Not familiar with "Leandro"? Learn more here: EveryChildNC.org.
 

Leandro Impact Analysis Tool

Every Child NC has created a Leandro Impact Analysis for every school district in the state to see how much funding the Leandro Plan would provide for their county. It provides estimates for Fiscal Year 2022 (year 3 of the Plan) and Fiscal Year 2028 Year 8 (the final year of the plan). Click on the Yellow box at the top left to choose your district to learn more for your local estimates. You will likely be SHOCKED at how much money the state owes your local district!

LEGISLATIVE LEDGER -- CALL TO ACTION

As part of the Every Child NC Coalition, we are inviting local school boards, county commissioners, and other local government boards to pass the Leandro Plan support statement. So far four local school boards and one county commission have passed it, and we know of more coming up for discussion and votes this week. Please reach out to your elected officials and ask them to support it as well. The wording is already put together and all the details can be found at https://everychildnc.org/local-resolution/. Thank you!


Not sure who your NC General Assembly Legislators are? Find out here. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

PNCC will be participating in the Public Schools First NC Conference on October 9th. Make plans to attend this wonderful event. It has moved from in-person to Zoom, and the prices has dropped. Tickets are now $30 ($20 for educators) and if you purchase the ticket, you will get the recording of the presentation and resources, so you can watch it at your convenience.

We look forward to hearing from Keynote Speaker Dr. Noliwe Rooks. Rooks is a Professor at Brown University and before that she taught at Cornell and Princeton. She is the author of Cutting School (The New Press) as well as White Money/Black Power and Hair Raising. The 2021 Conference will address the impact of privatization on our public schools over the past decade and recent legislative actions.

 Details: https://www.publicschoolsfirstnc.org/event/save-the-date-impact-of-privatizing-public-schools-2021-conference/

This presentation from Cornell gives a glimpse of her work in Cutting School: The Segrenomics of Education. Watch the full hour presentation here.

PNCC is looking forward to the Color of Education virtual event on October 26-27th. Join the Public School Forum’s Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity, along with partners, the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, in critical conversations centered on addressing issues of racial equity and education at this year’s Color of Education Summit! Tickets are available now!

Nikole Hannah-Jones will be the Keynote Speaker again this year as she continues the conversation she started as the Keynote in 2018. Here is the link to her presentation from then

Know of an event we are missing from our list? Send them to us.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Earlier this year CBFNC hosted a Christian Advocacy 101 webinar series where we explored advocacy work as a natural extension of our church's commitment to mission work. This fall we took a deep dive into advocacy work happening in our state and explored ways your congregation can get involved. The session was held Tuesday, September 21 at 2pm. Suzanne Miller, from Pastors for NC Children, facilitated the conversation about education advocacy. Watch the replay by clicking on this link. 

BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS AND SCHOOL FUNDING 101

The NEW NC budget for 2021-2023 was due June 30th and we are STILL waiting on the General Assembly. The Governor, House, and Senate have each submitted their budgets, and it has been through "Conference Committee" behind closed doors where the House and Senate come to a compromise. It is now in discussion between the Legislature and Governor and we still wait. Neither the House nor the Senate's budgets encompass the whole of the Leandro Plan that is mandated by the Courts to provide a sound basic education for NC students. This Leandro Case has been going on 27 years and reflects the BASEMENT Threshold that is required for public education in NC. Time is of the essence!

Our Every Child NC Coalition partners Save Our Schools NC's Susan Book and Renee Sekel presented "School Funding 101" on Monday, August 30th on Zoom. It is a GREAT overview of how complicated the funding for schools is in NC. They discuss the Leandro Plan and how the General Assembly can't pick and choose pieces to fund. It MUST fund ALL of it. It also goes into the Covid relief money that is available to NC and when it needs to be spent. As advocates, we need to understand how funding works to be able to apply the most leverage to the correct places of power. 

RESOURCE ALERT

Famed Old Testament Scholar Walter Brueggemann revised and updated his Journey To The Common Good in 2021 during the Covid pandemic. The reflection on scarcity, abundance, and how we care for our neighbor is such important reminders as we journey through a pandemic wilderness today and wrestle with how to care for our neighbors. 

"But the narrative of abundance persists among us. Those who sign on and depart the system of anxious scarcity become the history makers in the neighborhood. These are the ones not exhausted by Sabbath-less production who have enough energy to dream and hope. From dreams and hopes come such neighborly miracles as good health care, good schools, good housing, good care for the earth, and disarmament. The dream subverts Pharaoh's nightmare.... The ones who receive the gift have energy beyond themselves for the sake of the world. And we, if we receive well, may be among those who push beyond ourselves."
[Walter Brueggemann, Journey To the Common Good, Updated Ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2021) 35]

Watch this video to learn more. 

PARTNERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

Faith In The City @ Knollwood Baptist Church, Winston-Salem

Each month from September to May, Knollwood Baptist Church offers "Faith In The City" on the first Tuesday from noon-1pm. It started three years ago as a bring your own lunch event to look at various issues facing Forsyth County. They started on public education, and ended up making it their focus over the whole series. For the time being they are hosting this event on Zoom, so anyone from across NC is invited to join. Previous videos can be found on their website. The discussions, while often centered on Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, are relevant to all of us interested in education advocacy and faith. I highly recommend marking your calendar each month to join. Email faithinthecitykbc@gmail.com to get on their email list for meeting topics and links. Here's the live link to Tuesday, Oct 5th's event

AND THE TABLE WILL BE WIDE

Between Walter Brueggemann's Journey To The Common Good and Jan Richardson's poem/prayer "And The Table Will Be Wide", I was reminded this week that the issues NC faces with Leandro are about a difference in worldview. As people of faith, we live into a world of abundance and enough for everyone. Sabbath was given by God to remind us there is enough to go around. The General Assembly operates on a worldview of scarcity. There will never be enough resources to share for everyone. There is always anxiety and fear at the heart of  scarcity. As people of faith we have a particular calling to remind everyone of the abundance from God that is at the heart of our world. This prayer captures that spirit and this past Sunday's World Communion Sunday theme well. 

Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
―Mark 10.15-16

And the Table Will Be Wide
A Blessing for World Communion Sunday

And the table
will be wide.
And the welcome
will be wide.
And the arms
will open wide
to gather us in.
And our hearts
will open wide
to receive.

And we will come
as children who trust
there is enough.
And we will come
unhindered and free.
And our aching
will be met
with bread.
And our sorrow
will be met
with wine.

And we will open our hands
to the feast
without shame.
And we will turn
toward each other
without fear.
And we will give up
our appetite
for despair.
And we will taste
and know
of delight.

And we will become bread
for a hungering world.
And we will become drink
for those who thirst.
And the blessed
will become the blessing.
And everywhere
will be the feast.

– Jan Richardson
© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.

We are grateful for all our new newsletter subscribers and contacts! Growing our newsletter helps us with future grant opportunities and expanding our reach across NC. Thank you and share this email with your friends and colleagues. Better yet--encourage them to subscribe today!

If you'd like to learn more about PNCC and how you might get involved, schedule a call with Director Rev. Suzanne Miller or email her at PastorsForNCchildren@gmail.com. 

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PNCC is a grateful recipient of a Z. Smith Reynold Foundation's Systemic Change Grant to support Public Education in NC. 
 

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