Needed: Money for textbooks, teachers and extra school days
The big news coming out of today and tomorrow’s N.C. State Board of Education meeting will be whether the board gives nine proposed charter schools the green light to open this fall (Read an earlier post for more information on that).
But the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, like most state agencies and entities, is also gearing for the budget season, and have prepared a list of “must have” items for the N.C. General Assembly.
The education agency estimates it needs $633 million on top of the $7.4 billion the GOP-led legislature gave them last year for the 2012-13 budget.
The board will vote this afternoon on whether to forward the request on to the budget team for Gov. Bev Perdue, who has made no secret that she’ll spend her remaining time left in office fighting to get education funding back up.
On the list (click here to see for yourself) are:
- $503 million to restore discretionary funding to the local education agencies (that cut is where schools had to lay off more than 500 teachers and 1,200 teacher assistants)
- $7.5 million for 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th graders to take various tests, including the required ACT for high school juniors
- $1.1 million for the N.C. Governor’s School (the summer program was cut completely and saved only by donations this summer)
- $20 million to boost the school lunch programs; $14.6 million for the five extra school days legislators demanded but didn’t fund
- $76.5 million to restore cuts to textbooks and learning materials statewide
- $200,000 to add staff to the existing four-person Office of Charter Schools that’s supposed to oversee curriculum, governance and budgets for all 100 existing charters and the dozens more that will be added now that the cap on charter schools has lifted.
We’ll update to let you know what the State Board of Education decided to do. Or follow reporter Sarah Ovaska on Twitter at @SarahOvaska.