Sunday, September 25, 2011

North Carolina Public Education Funding Continues Its "Race to the Bottom"

Chris Fitzsimon at the NC Policywatch posted his Monday numbers on the NC Policywatch Blog. These numbers show the damage our state legislature and political establishment has wrought on public education since 2008. You can check out the complete numbers for yourself, but here's some that I think are indicative of the true value our state government places on public education.
  • There have been 16,678 public school jobs eliminated in North Carolina in the last four years. (Our government has done its part to contribute to the unemployment rate.)
  • North Carolina ranked 49th in 2007-2008 among 50 states in administrative spending in public education. (All that administrative waste politicians like to banter about isn't there and wasn't there.)
  • Speaker of North Carolina House Thom Tillis said there were 0 teacher and teacher assistant positions cut in the 2011-2012 North Carolina General Assembly Budget. (See the reality in the next bullet.)
  • As of August 31, 2011, 534 teachers have been laid off due to budget cuts made by the North Carolina General Assembly's 2011-2012 Budget. (For more reality, see next bullet.)
  • There were 1,260 teacher assistants who lost their jobs due the North Carolina General Assembly's 2011-2012 budget. (Reality is not something our current political establishment deals with very well.)
  • There have been a total of 2,418 layoffs in public education due to the North Carolina General Assembly's 2011-2012 budget. (While Thom Tillis can boast that his budget didn't lay off these individuals, his budget created the reality that made it necessary.)
  • There have been a total of 6,307 public school jobs eliminated due to the North Carolina General Assembly's 2011-2012 Budget. (Tillis, as did many in General Assembly, demonizes these people as moochers.)
  • 4,000 more public school jobs will go after the federal stimulus money goes away next year.
If you really want a good picture of North Carolina's commitment to public education, check out these two:
  • In 2007-2008, North Carolina ranked 45th in per pupil spending.
  • In 2010-2011, North Carolina ranked 49th in per pupil spending.
I've heard all the tired arguments about "money won't solve the problems in public education." But I think the reality is in business and education, "You get what you pay for." Those who make statements like the ones above most likely have another agenda. They want public education gone, not reformed. Thanks to our current North Carolina General Assembly, we have begun the "Race to the Bottom" in earnest and are inching closer to that goal.

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