Tag Archives: North Carolina

We Went South

20 years ago this week, 2/12/1997, the entire Burriss Tribe, Teddy, Rebecca, Jessie, Rachel, Megan & Lauren hopped in the Honda mini-van and headed south to Advance North Carolina.

The journey began around November of 1996 with a potential move to New Jersey. However before we made the move north we got notice North Carolina would be where my job would finally be based.

The move to North Carolina was chaotic and emotional. We left a new community and new school systems into an older community with older less technological schools.

It took lots of work, patience and prayers to transition the teen age and pre-teen daughters through this change. However, within three months the emotions calmed and happiness began to develop for the entire family.

20 years later the girls (aka Myrtles) have all moved out of the house and into their own homes and developing families.

The family has grow significantly to include 4 men (aka the Stallions), 10 GrandWeWaps (grandkids), three new dogs and a few cats and chickens.

Our network of friends have grown significantly and our community involvement continues to grow in many different ways.

We all loved Maryland and our friends and home in Monrovia.

Today, we all love having moved into North Carolina, our friends and businesses we have built down here.

Thank you North Carolina for welcoming us into this state.

Dear Daughters – It may be time to leave North Carolina

 North Carolina Education System Failures

North Carolina Education System Failures

Hello girls. It’s Dad.

I apologize for what I’ve got your family into.

When we move to North Carolina in late 1996, we were excited about the possibilities.

The cost of living was reasonable, lifestyle was calm and relaxed, the school systems appeared to be in a mode of improvement. All of this while businesses were growing and changing as Tobacco, Furniture and Textiles were on the way out. Everything seemed positive to us.

However, I failed to notice that one of the most important aspects of living here is quickly going to pot.

I am afraid of the North Carolina Education System Failures

The North Carolina Public Schools are failing your children, my grandchildren.

I am embarrassed to tell people that I live in Davie County NC. The bickering, drama, personal attacks and narrow minded opinions regarding building a new Davie County High School is pathetic. I quietly weep when I hear parents in this county say, “we can’t have two football teams” or “It’s not fair to build a new high school in the northern part of the county where all the ‘rich’ people moved” or “I don’t have any kids in school, I’m not agreeing to a new school.”

I am embarrassed at how Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools administration treats their Pre-K programs. I am appalled at the way WSFCS treats these teachers, assistants and the development programs of these students. Forcing these Pre-K and Kindergarten students to learn in ways that they are not developmentally ready to learn, (i.e. not being allowed to play, explore, experiment naturally) is unacceptable to me. Trying to bring in math & reading programs into Pre-K classes is setting up our youngsters for educational failure.

There are many North Carolina Education System Failures I see setup to negatively affect your children, my grandkids, including:

  • rapidly increasing and even unaffordable insurance benefits for our educators
  • requiring our educators to pay the school system when you use an earned personal day.
  • no raises in six years and the expectation that there will be no raises in 2014. As I understand it NC is now the 48 lowest teacher pay state in the nation.
  • increasing class size with no limits while reducing the number of assistants
  • the elimination of the teaching fellows, a great program for attracting new highly trained teachers.
  • the continuation of the three years probation period with no licensure renewal benefits and other limits that career educators do not have.
  • Merit pay programs tied to unproven and disparate measurements

Is anyone else worried about the North Carolina Education System Failure?

Regularly I hear our government civil servants tell us they are working hard to build our economy by encouraging businesses to move their operations to North Carolina. I can’t help but believe this economic development work is like a house of cards. How do they entice any great businesses to join us in North Carolina while at the same time ignoring the pressing needs of the school systems?

The most recent failure is when our Governor Pat McCrory gave his staff pay raises in a time when every other civil servant is asked to do more for less. I applaud Aldona Wos, of Health and Human Services of declining the pay raise and pledging to work for $1.

Girls all of these issues and the lack of belief that anyone has a good plan to correct what I refer to as a failing education system worries me. I am afraid of what will happen to your children, my grandchildren.

I have started doing research to find a state that has a better vision than North Carolina. Yes, other states are facing the same budget constraints, however I’m sure there are smarter people in our Nation who have found a way to keep education as one of the top priorities in their state.

I’d rather not move or have you move out of North Carolina, there are lots of great reasons for living here. However, the future of your children and my grandchildren is my priority.

Dad