ACAE endorses four school board candidates for Asheville City Schools

Press release from the Asheville City Association of Educators:

On Monday, April 25, local teacher union Asheville City Association of Educators announced their endorsements for four candidates running for the Asheville City Schools Board of Education for the first election in history of the position. Following a candidate forum on Friday evening that hosted over 100 people and nearly 60 people streaming live throughout the duration of the stream, ACAE members completed the endorsement voting process over the weekend. Out of the nine candidates seeking this position, ACAE endorsed four candidates, including Amy Ray, Jesse Warren, Rebecca Strimer, and Liza English-Kelly. ACAE members made their announcement with a call-to-action of the present school board, County Commissioners, and local elected officials to fulfill current budget demands.

“We believe that the four we are endorsing bring the right combination of positions, experience, competence, and community to the table to help our school board be the best that it can be,” said Daniel Withrow, President of ACAE. “We encourage the current school board to recognize all staff priorities, including paying all staff at least a living wage, raising local pay to match the high cost of living, and keeping the pre-K programs open. We look forward to seeing all the school board candidates interact with parents, community, and educators in the school building in the months ahead.”

ACAE contacted all nine school board candidates to participate in the endorsement process. Eight candidates completed the ACAE questionnaire, explaining their positions and vision for Asheville City Schools. Candidates also participated in a forum held in collaboration with the Asheville High School Student Government and the Asheville City Schools District-Wide Parent and Staff group. ACAE members met after the forum to discuss the questionnaires and forum responses, spending hours debating the merits of different candidates.

“The public is paying attention during a critical moment for our schools, but unfortunately our local elected officials have been difficult to engage with. How we support our teachers and staff is a reflection of how we support our students,” said Susanna Cerrato, Vice-President of ACAE. “We are continuing to strongly urge the current school board to work with the Buncombe County Commissioners to fund a budget that addresses our priorities on living wages, local supplements, and pre-K. Without such measures, we won’t have enough staff to meet our children’s needs in the coming year. Our kids can’t wait.”

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