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State Superintendent: Education cuts send wrong message about NC priorities (audio)

Challenging…austere….and devastating… Those are just some of the words used to describe the new school year as thousands of students return to class this week.

North Carolina’s public schools have lost 15,000 positions and about 6,000 people over the last three years because of budget cuts, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said Wednesday the latest round of personnel cuts, coupled with the loss of millions of additional dollars for instructional supplies, has left many educators worried about their ability to provide students with a sound, basic education.

Atkinson believes the Republican-controlled state budget that drops North Carolina to 49th in per-pupil funding sends the wrong message about North Carolina’s priorities.

Dr. Atkinson joins Chris Fitzsimon on News & Views this weekend to discuss the budget strain and recent changes to Pre-K education. For a preview, click below:

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One Comment

  1. Vin Right

    September 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Please don’t fall for June Atkinson’s red herring. The Democrats and the Republicans are both underfunding education. Do the math. If a child goes to school for six hours a day and five of those hours are used for instruction, one hour lost for lunch, bathroom, class changes, and P.E. that means each child receives 500 minutes of classroom instruction per day. Even if all 500 hundred minutes are divided equally to personal attention to the students. In a class of twenty that is 25 minutes per student while in a class of thirty it is 16.6 minutes per student. One our two students hardly makes a difference in the amount of personal attention. It does affect how likely your child’s class is to have a student who will disturb others or has special needs which require extra attention from the teacher. It also effects the type of assignments a teacher gives and the type of feedback they provide. For example if a high school teacher receives 8 extra students through the course of the day then for an assignment which takes the teacher 5 minutes to grade that’s an extra 40 minutes of work.
    Bev and June, when you’re fighting a rear guard action you’re still loosing ground.