March 16, 2018/Press

GOP Leaders Call for More Public Education Funding After Spending a Decade Slashing Public Education Funding

Raleigh – Yesterday, Senate Leader Berger and Speaker Moore sent a letter to public schools in the proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline explaining the need for further public education funding. Rep. Dixon follow it up in by stating“any time we’re talking about economic development … the situation should always begin with K-12 education.”

Apparently, Senator Berger, Speaker Moore, and Rep. Dixon are either unaware of or don’t want to acknowledge how they and their Republican caucus have gutted public education spending since taking power in 2010.

On legislative Republicans’ watch, North Carolina’s schools have suffered from a lack of investment, measly teacher raises, and budgets that shortchange our students:

  • North Carolina’s public schools’ overall performance fell from 20th to 40th because of a lack of funding, according to Education Week
    • HEADLINE: Study ranks NC public schools 40th in nation, citing insufficient funding (WRAL, 1/23/18)
  • North Carolina is currently ranked 45th in the nation for school fundingand received a D grade on school funding. Republicans’ refusal to fund our school is jeopardizing basic supplies.
    • North Carolina Association of Educators President: “That’s $3,000 below the national average. We haven’t had basic supplies such as textbooks, technology, pencils, paper.” (WRAL, 1/23/18)
    • Teachers across the country spent $500 to $1000 out-of-pocket for classroom supplies and job-related expenses last year, but Republicans refused to help teachers offset these costs with a stipend championed by Governor Cooper. (WRAL, 6/26/17)
  • Republican budgets shortchanged teachers and students, offering teachers paltry pay raises, slashing taxes instead of funding public education, and siphoning money from public schools to pay for far-right voucher programs.
    • HEADLINE: Big pay raises? N.C. gives teachers just a tank of gas(Charlotte Observer, Op-Ed, 6/21/17)
    • “This means that the legislature will eventually have cut $3.5 billion annually in all its tax cuts – money that could have gone for services. North Carolina, for example, ranks 41st nationally in per pupil spending for public education.” (News & Observer Editorial, 6/24/17)
    • GOP budget allocated $45 million to an unaccountable, far-right voucher programs, which “siphon funds away from the underfunded public school system and sends those tax dollars to private schools without accountability and transparency measures” (WRAL, 1/27/17)

“Republicans’ sanctimonious call for supporting our public schools while spending a decade slashing public education funding, shortchanging our teachers, and siphoning money from public schools for unaccountable voucher programs is the height of hypocrisy,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Instead of selectively funding public schools, the legislature should help teachers and students across the entire state while also bringing good jobs to eastern North Carolina.”