MEDIA RELEASE: Speak NC video series spotlights Governor Morehead School

MEDIA RELEASE: Speak NC video series spotlights Governor Morehead School
The video series from Together NC document individuals, families, and groups who rely on state services

RALEIGH (November 7, 2011) – A campaign documenting the positive impact of state programs and services on families and communities throughout North Carolina continues today with a powerful video focusing on the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. The Governor Morehead School, along with schools for the deaf in Wilson and Morganton, face the specter of closure following the passage of the 2011 state budget.

“Retreating from our investments in the education of blind and deaf children is the wrong way to balance the budget and is bad for the future of our state,” stated Rob Thompson, a coordinator of Together NC. “The legislature had a choice, and they chose to cut this invaluable service.”

All children in North Carolina deserve the opportunity to get a sound, basic education. That’s why past elected officials created three schools – in Morganton, Raleigh, and Wilson – dedicated to the education of deaf and blind children across the state. These schools currently serve around 200 children who receive a specialized education that includes work training and life skills not taught in mainstream schools. Speak NC’s video focuses on how the Governor Morehead School prepares its graduates for the working world.

Unfortunately, the legislature passed a budget in 2011 that requires the Department of Public Instruction to close one of the three schools by 2012. According to the President of NC Chapter of the Federation for the Blind, Gary Ray, unemployment among the blind is already at 70 percent. If the state closes one of these schools, that could number will likely go up.

“Children suffering from visual and hearing impairments have just as much right to a quality education as any other child, and it’s the job of our elected officials to make sure that happens,” Thompson said.

The video is the ninth in a series produced by Together NC. The videos highlight North Carolina residents who benefit from vital public investments. The videos are available on the Speak NC website. Speak NC aims to show the human impact of state programs and services that touch thousands of North Carolinians every year.

“Missing from our state budget debate was a real sense of how state services impact real people, their families, and communities amidst all the numbers,” said Louisa Warren, a coordinator of Together NC. “Speak NC is about changing that and bringing forth the voices of North Carolinians to speak for themselves about how public investments have enriched their lives and paved the way for economic opportunity.”

Together NC invites citizens to watch the stories on Speak NC and share them with friends, family, and local legislators to demonstrate how many of these programs provide crucial aid to families and bolster local economies.

Visit Speak NC at www.speaknc.org.

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Together NC is a collection of more than 115 non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations who have come together to promote wise choices for shared prosperity for all North Carolinians. For more information, visit www.togethernc.org

CONTACT: Together NC coordinators: Louisa Warren, (919) 801-0465, louisa@ncjustice.org or Rob Thompson, (919) 649-2449, rob@nccovenant.org.

 

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