In this News and Observer article entitled "A Hidden, Drastic Change in NC School Funding" Helen Ladd and Edward Fiske describe more sinister legislative action taken by our North Carolina Legislature and Governor during this last legislative session.
In the past, school districts received funding based on projected enrollment. This allowed school districts to plan for growth, and if their enrollments did not pan out, adjustments to funding were made. Now, the waning hours of this past legislative session, and without much public input, schools funding will be based on last year's enrollment. Basically, as Ladd and Fiske point out, "Funding to cover growing enrollments will have to be negotiated and compete with other state priorities." The bottom line, is our legislature has opened the door to being able still cut education further without saying they are cutting education.
In spite of the recent political advertising by Governor Pat McCrory and House leader (US Senate Candidate) Thom Tillis boasting about their "increased" education funding, these two have been leaders in a North Carolina government that has done more to hurt education than ever. Of course I have to throw Senate leader Phil Berger in that mix as well because he is the third prong of this anti-public education crew. The one thing all of these gentlemen have been consistent about is their disdain for public education and for public educators. They have resorted to trickery and deception on a number of occasions before, so this little budget wizardry is hardly surprising.
These are sad times in North Carolina when our North Carolina Legislature and Governor have resorted to deceptive and underhanded tactics to continue to underfund and undermine public education. Teachers and educators in general are leaving. None of our young people are choosing teaching as a profession. It has become fairly clear that our current state government continues to damage public education in North Carolina in ways I fear it would never recover, but perhaps that's the plan.
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