Candidate Name: James Barrett
What office are you running for?
(NC) Superintendent of Public Instruction
With which party are you running for office?
November 3, 2020
Why are you running for office?
To bring restored success back to North Carolina public schools.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
Funding from before the financial crisis has not yet been restored, causing many of our schools to struggle to meet student needs. I will use my background as a community advocate and school district leader to work with our General Assembly and advocate for better and more equitable funding.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
My community organizing training has taught me that relationships matter first – we can’t work together if we don’t have relationships built on understanding each others’ stories. Then, I will find issues (even small ones) that we can reach agreement on and can build from there to more difficult compromises. I will always reserve the right to use the bully pulpit of the statewide office to call out those who are not supporting public education, but that does shut the door on working together if not done well.
Who is your hero?
THE Education Governor, Jim Hunt
What are your hobbies?
reading, hanging out with my family, helping get pro-education candidates elected
What is the most recent book you read?
After completing Ron Chernow’s Hamilton, I was inspired to actually read through The Federalist Papers. I’m almost done and it is fascinating how applicable it is to now with discussion of impeachment, etc.
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
My son is a Junior in college at UNC-Chapel Hill. My daughter is a Senior in high school, primarily looking to get farther away next year. My wife adopted a dog this year to keep her company while I’m traveling the state, so I don’t really consider her mine.
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
I have greatly enjoyed traveling this large state and meeting and learning from so many people. I’m happy to have more people engaged in my campaign (and their local legislative seats as well) in any way they’d like. Call the campaign at (919) 590-5754 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?
The 2nd most important issue in the work of the state superintendent is to tackle the over-testing of our students. See https://barrettforschools.com/how-do-we-solve-too-much-testing/ for more details on my approach.
Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.
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