In 2017, Renee Sekel and Susan Book were both stay at home moms in Cary, NC and had never met. At a Wake County School Board Advisory Council meeting, Renee learned about a law that had been meant to reduce class sizes in grades K-3, but that had not only come without adequate funding, but had been written in such a way that it eliminated funding for art, music and PE teachers (we call these classes “specials,” in legislative parlance, they are “enhancement classes.”) Concerned, Renee took the issue to her kids’ PTA and at the meeting, someone suggested she start a Facebook group to keep people informed. And thus Save Our Schools NC was born.
Susan came on board when a mutual acquaintance invited her to join the group, and she quickly became indispensable. By 2018, Susan and Renee were sharing responsibility for running the group.
During the class size fight, we used every tool at our disposal to convince the North Carolina General Assembly to fix the problem they created. We sent postcards, orchestrated phone and email campaigns, held rallies, went to the General Assembly and lobbied legislators directly, and even tried to get key legislators’ major donors to help us. Some tactics worked, and some didn’t. Along the way, we learned that the class size law was just a small part of a much larger campaign against public education in NC.
In 2018, our class size chaos campaign bore fruit – the General Assembly passed a law that slowed the class size cuts and, critically, restored funding for specials. Now, Susan and Renee are on a mission to keep educating parents throughout NC about the ongoing threats to our public schools, and on how they can get involved.