Indy Week Endorses June Atkinson for State Superintendent
With public education chronically underfunded in North Carolina, it's good to have someone in the Department of Public Instruction who gives a damn. Over the last eleven years as superintendent, June Atkinson has garnered a reputation for helping the state's children and teachers and advocating on their behalf to the legislature. She's gone to bat for teachers and, if reelected, says she'll work to reinstate additional pay for teachers with master's degrees and a version of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. She's also worked to increase technology in the classroom and approved a digital learning plan that will help equip all classrooms with Wi-Fi.
Atkinson has created initiatives to put in place quality preschool programs for the state's most vulnerable and opposed any voucher expansion programs. She believes that any school accepting public dollars should not discriminate against trans or gay students, and she worries that charter schools in certain parts of the state are furthering segregation.
While Atkinson's opponent, Mark Johnson, has identified several legitimate issues he wants to tackle if elected—the teacher license backlog, overtesting, and school ratings, to name a few—he hasn't laid out any clear policies for addressing these problems.
Given her outstanding record, Atkinson is the clear choice.