School superintendents from rural and urban districts told the NC Board of Education Tuesday how deep cuts in the state budget have cost their districts jobs and harmed education.
With the loss of federal EduJobs money, and another round of discretionary reductions on the horizon, superintendents said morale was low and employees were stressed about the outlook for next year.
Clay County Superintendent Scott Penland, who described himself as a life-long Republican, said it was ludicrous for the legislative leadership to brag about the budget they passed:
“It is dead wrong for the legislature to give us extra teaching positions with the right hand, and take money back with the left hand….and then go around the state saying you gave us more teachers,” explained Penland. “There’s no way I could get away with that at home. If I gave a high school principal two more positions, and said ‘By the way, send me back $75,000.’ They’d think I’m crazy!”
Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata told the audience it was time for the lawmakers to “cowboy-up” and reward professional educators for helping the schools make it through the tough times. He warned without some additional compensation, teachers would be lured away to teach in other states or work in the private sector.
To hear a portion of the five hour hearing, click below: