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Nowhere are the struggles of a community more evident than in the classroom.  Every pain and injury suffered by a family is reflected in the face of it's children.  The crushing despair of poverty and inequality are having a direct impact on our student's lives, preventing them from experiencing the same opportunities that their classmates enjoy.

Despite the relative affluence and prestige found in Buncombe County, our youth poverty and hunger rates are staggering, with some reports estimating over 30% of all children in public education living well below the poverty line.  Working class families like mineare facing very difficult choices between seeking medical treatment for chronic health issues and buying food for their young. These are circumstances that must not be allowed to continue.

Many of my best friends are teachers in public schools, and I am painfully aware of the challenges they face.  Most are forced to work two or three part time jobs just to pay their rent or mortgage.  Every fall, they make the sacrifice of their own time and money to provide their students with supplies that are necessary to the teaching process. Now they can't even write those expenses off on their taxes.  Buncombe County needs to lead the charge to restore our education systems to their rightful place as examples of public service.

With the current political environment in Washington and Raleigh, it has become quite clear that we can no longer count on the support of our state or federal governments when it comes to the welfare of our schools.  Buncombe County must hold strong to its values of educational excellence and push even harder to provide a safe and prosperous environment for our students. 

If elected to the Board of Commissioners, I will hold education as my top priority.  I will explore opportunities to create additional aid programs for our future generations, raising funds to ensure that teachers are given the support they so desperately need to care for our young, to ensure that every single child has a chance to flourish and grow into their potential.  

I will expand after school programming support, as well as broaden the scope of the tremendously successful Early Childhood Development, Pre-K programs that the Board of Commissioners have already implemented.  I will support secondary education through public vocational programs like AB Tech. I will increase the facilities fund to upgrade the lighting and HVAC systems in our public schools, ensuring higher productivity and success rates.  I will increase funding for school counselors, social workers and resource officers to create a safe, secure environment where every child is supported and protected. 

It is time our communities began treating our educators with the esteem they are due.

Committee to Elect Catori Swann
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