Emily‘s children attend Belville Elementary School, and she’s worried. It’s not what you might think a mom would be concerned about when it comes to the education of her kids. Emily is worried about the contaminated water they drink from the school fountains. She's well aware that local politicians have failed to deal quickly and decisively with the issue of GenX and other potentially hazardous chemicals found in our local water supply. Now she fears that her children and their classmates could grow up to be victims of a major health crisis. That’s why Emily was overjoyed last year when the organization H2GO offered to donate filters for the schools in her area. Emily had been sharing her concerns with a neighbor and together they decided to attend a meeting of the Brunswick County Board of Education to ask them what they felt would be nothing short of a no-brainer – to protect the health of their students and accept the donation. They were wrong. As incredible as it sounds, rather than doing what was obviously the right thing for their students, the members of the school board referred the decision to the Brunswick County manager who proceeded to turn the donation down. There was no further effort on behalf of the school board to fight the decision and so the water at Brunswick County schools would remain unsafe to drink. Emily was disappointed and angry. Seeing Emily in such a state and wondering what other ways her friend's children were being short-changed by the school district, Emily's neighbor decided that it was time for a change on the school board.
Meet Joanne Levitan
In 2011, North Carolina public schools were highly regarded, with a very commendable ranking of 19th in the nation. That year, a new Republican-majority legislature was sworn in and it’s been downhill ever since. This year, our state hit a new low and is now ranked 40th nationally and a shameful 45th in educational funding. This steep drop comes as other states have worked to improve their public education while North Carolina has cut funding and adopted poorly crafted educational policies. Joanne Levitan finds this unacceptable. As a member of the Brunswick County School Board, Joanne will work tirelessly to improve the quality of education and push for higher teacher salaries. She will promote the health and safety of our students, not by throwing more school resource officers at the problem but by adding more social workers to address underlying mental health issues. And on day one, Joanne will make sure that filters are installed on all school fountains. With a BA in Economics and an MBA in Information Systems, Joanne is in the unique position to pursue improvements in funding, monitor spending and bring our schools into the 21st century. North Carolina needs to halt the decline of its public education. Kids only have one chance to achieve academic success. Who better than Joanne Levitan to point our schools in the right direction? This November let’s elect Joanne Levitan to the Brunswick County Board of Education.