Friday, May 30, 2014

NC State Superintendent Responds to Anti-Public Education Budget of NC Senate

In her response to the North Carolina State Senate’s budget proposal which continues the anti-public education agenda of this current state legislature, North Carolina State Superintendent, June Atkinson, pointed out these additional, hidden gems in that budget:

  • Administrator salaries have been separated from the teacher salary schedules and no change from last years salaries. Personnel on these schedules would receive an average 2 percent pay raise.
  • Teachers would get 11% pay raise if they choose to give up tenure.
  • Central office employees would receive a $500 raise while the rest of state workers would receive $800.
  • Teacher assistant funding would be cut in half.
  • No improvement in instructional supplies funding and technology.
  • State funding to local central offices would be cut by 5%.
  • Reduced funding to school transportation by $28.6 million. Funds replaced with driver’s education funding which would be cut entirely.
  • The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction would be cut by 30%.
  • Grades 2 and 3 teacher allotments will remain at 1 teacher per 18 students rather than be reduced to 1:17 as funded last year.

As Dr. Atkinson amply points out, “The dismal state of textbook, technology, and instructional supplies funding means that teachers will have fewer resources to work with as they develop lessons and assignments,” this lack of additional instructional resources continues even as accountability and testing demands have increased. These cut resources will also translate into teachers having to take on even more responsibilities and duties in the schools as well. Teachers will most likely in their dedication do what they normally do, continue to dig deeper into their own pockets for money to pay for what this state legislature is refusing to pay for.

It would appear that our North Carolina Legislature and Governor are continuing the same strategies and plans that had from last year. They will do all they can to make sure business and industry get those tax cuts as evidenced by their proposals now to limit taxing from local governments. Education is simple dispensable with these politicians. That leaves these questions to think about?

  • Why would any business or industry be willing to move to North Carolina with such anti-public education leadership in the state government—from Governor McCrory, to Senate leader Phil Berger, to House leader Thom Tillis. All that talk about preparing students for careers and jobs seems to be bluster. These people aren’t willing to work with educators. They are focused intently on an agenda that must have been borrowed from the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.
  • How can our state government leaders possibly think this budget would be good for public education in this state? This budget will do more to set education back in North Carolina than anything else this state legislature has done. One can almost conclude that is their intention; wreck public education in this state.

You can read Dr. Atkinson’s full response to the draconian North Carolina Senate budget here. (Dr. Atkinson’s Response.)

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