Our Kids Can’t Wait: Fund Our Schools Now

Asheville City Schools Board of Education and Buncombe County Commissioners

Our Kids Can't Wait

Public school staff in Asheville City Schools are beyond their breaking point. We are being asked to do more with fewer resources, little time, under declining real wages, while facing the fastest-rising cost of living in forty years. These conditions have led to record vacancies and record mid-year departures. Currently, there are over 70 positions vacant, which means that our students are already not receiving the quality services that they deserve.

When the house is on fire, you don't stop to make sure you have enough water in the tank–you use what you have to put out the fire. The truth is, our kids can’t wait. They can’t afford to lose one more school staffer. They can’t afford for services to be spread any thinner. Our students need help now.

Please read the petition below and complete the attached form to sign:

Additional Sponsors

To: Asheville City Schools Board of Education and Buncombe County Commissioners
From: [Your Name]

We, public school workers and the broader community, call on the ACS Board of Education and the Buncombe County Commissioners work together to create and fund a budget that does the following:

• Stabilizes our workforce and provides more consistent student support by making ACS a Just Economics living wage certified employer. Retain and recruit high-quality classified staff with a base pay of at least $17.70/hour and/or a 20% raise, whichever is higher.

• Increases the local supplement percentage for all public school workers by at least 2% in every category with a commitment to revisit on a yearly basis.

• Continues to fully fund the 11 existing ACS Pre-K classrooms, investing in the future of our children.

Additionally, we call on Dr. Freeman and the ACS Board of Education to:

• Vote no on outsourcing of any kind of cafeteria, custodians, or other ACS staff members.

• Pay cafeteria workers on the same schedule as all other ACS employees. Stop the practice of having to wait for wages depending on the last day of the month.

• Commit to posting every vacated position and to avoid combining classrooms whenever possible.

• Professional development and training should take place during the workday. State-mandated trainings should happen either on workdays, early release, or asynchronous virtual days added to the existing calendar for this purpose. Any trainings scheduled outside of regular work hours should include compensation. Educators need regular planning time to meet the needs of students.

• Discontinue mandated use of annual leave for COVID-related or weather-related days off when classified staff are not provided online work to complete. Workers should retain earned leave on these days when their job cannot be performed from home.

We deserve a budget that is pro-students, pro-public school staff, and pro-public schools. Our kids can’t wait and they don’t have to.

Asheville City Association of Educators
ACS Public School Staff
Parents and Community Supporters of ACS