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Our declining commitment to education

Anyone paying any attention to the news in recent months already knew this to be the case, but it’s still sobering to see the data.

Example #1 – On Tuesday, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released this report documenting the way most states (including North Carolina) have been significantly reducing their commitment to K-12 education. According to the report:

States have made steep cuts to education funding since the start of the recession and, in many states, those cuts deepened over the last year. Elementary and high schools are receiving less state funding in the 2012-13 school year than they did last year in 26 states, and in 35 states school funding now stands below 2008 levels — often far below.

Example #2 – Today, Together NC released this fact sheet which explains North Carolina’s declining commitment to higher education. To quote the document:

“State investment in the UNC system declined by 11 percent over the course of the Great Recession, and investment in the community college system decreased by 4.3 percent over the same period. Throughout the 2000s, state appropriations for post-secondary education fluctuated with economic downturns and recoveries, which undermined these institutions’ unique role in supporting worker re-training in tough economic times.

Reduced state investment in postsecondary education has shifted more of the cost of obtaining a degree or professional credential to students and their families. Tuition at UNC system schools has increased by nearly $1,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars over the decade, while community college tuition increased by $650.”

Both examples confirm that we are, as Governor Perdue has at times lamented in the past, “eating our seed corn.”

13 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    September 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Can we afford forced busing any more? Can we afford the Pre K program? We should consider ending them due to cost and reserve those funds for education.

  2. david esmay

    September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Frank shut up, we spend less on education as a percentage of the budget than we did in 1968. Do you have kids in school, or as you like to put it, skin in the game?

  3. Frank Burns

    September 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    David, Negative. I refuse to shut up. My children all went throught the Charlotte Mecklenburg school system and there was no Pre K for them. It is is so wasteful to send so many half empty buses around the county just for integration. We don’t need to fund Pre K day care, it’s a waste of money. We’ve got to change how we do things with the budget realities.

  4. david esmay

    September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    No matter what you say, pre-k is vital to poor and at risk kids. We can easily afford to provide these children a quality learning environment. Your integration argument is pure bovine scatology. Now if we were busing rich white kids around, now that would be different, wouldn’t it?

  5. david esmay

    September 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Fran, you do realize the kids in pre-k are needs tested, this program addresses those who are furthest behind in development and learning. It has an enormous impact on their ability to learn at a pace comparable to their classmates when they begin school. It helps kids, it helps teachers and it helps society, three things that were not included in the GOP platform.

  6. Frank Burns

    September 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    David, I’m saying we shouldn’t bus anyone rich or poor. It’s an expense that is not necessary. All children should go to their neighborhood schools. PreK – There are studies that show once a kid gets into Junior High any gains obtained from Pre K are gone. All it does is provide free day care. Maybe it doesn’t matter to you but we need to look closely at cost benefit analysis. When this is done, Pre K fails the test.

  7. david esmay

    September 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I think the benefits of directing tax dollars into education exceed the cost. A well educated productive workforce only enhances our society. I also believe an exposure to a school that has a diverse economic, social, and ethnic enrollment very beneficial to the students, it gives them a better perspective on the real world. I went to a rural 100% white school, hell, it was probably 90% Norwegian and Swedish, mainly because of geography. Fortunately, my parents went to great lengths to expose me to people of different races and cultures so my view of the world wouldn’t be skewed by wealth, race, or geography. When we talk of cuts, those most affected, are who can least afford it. That is not a good thing, we should always strive to provide opportunity, not deny it.

  8. david esmay

    September 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

    http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/mainmenu/pre-kindergarten/prekindergarten-what-the-research-shows.html
    This cites a study done by UNC, also Georgetown, hardly a liberal bastion, has an excellent study on the benefits of Pre-K and Headstart programs.

  9. Alex

    September 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    ” I also believe an exposure to a school that has a diverse economic, social, and ethnic enrollment very beneficial to the students, it gives them a better perspective on the real world.”

    “Fortunately, my parents went to great lengths to expose me to people of different races and cultures so my view of the world wouldn’t be skewed by wealth, race, or geography. When we talk of cuts, those most affected, are who can least afford it. ‘”

    Interesting quotes David. Perhaps you should point them out to the messrs.Flynn and Searing who seem to resent any differing opinions on this blog .Is diversity not good everywhere ?

  10. Adam Searing

    September 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    “Alex”, “Doug”, “Juan Gonza”, “frances”, “David Wordslay”, and “Andrew” are all made-up names from the same person. It isn’t worth responding to his comments. So, when you see “Alex” get agreement from “Doug” it shouldn’t be surprising. And when you see “Juan Gonza” parrot the line that “Doug” took it should be expected. I guess it’s flattering that the NC right-wing machine feels funding someone to spend enormous amounts of time on our blog is worthwhile, but ignoring the anonymous posts he wouldn’t dare confess to writing under his own name should be easy.

  11. david esmay

    September 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I share Adam and Greg’s views 99.9 percent of the time, I also share the same percentage on positions held by Chris, Rob, and Sarah. The thing is, I came to these conclusions on my own.

  12. Alex

    September 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    “Suddenly, I do not know how, it happened, I did not have time to think, Panurge, without another word, threw his sheep, crying and bleating, into the sea. All the other sheep, crying and bleating in the same intonation, started to throw themselves in the sea after it, all in a line. The herd was such that once one jumped, so jumped its companions. It was not possible to stop them, as you know, with sheep, it’s natural to always follow the first one, wherever it may go.” –Francois Rabelais, Pantagruel, Book IV, chapter VIII

  13. Adam Searing

    September 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

    “Alex”, “Doug”, “Juan Gonza”, “frances”, “David Wordslay”, and “Andrew” are all made-up names from the same person. It isn’t worth responding to his comments. So, when you see “Alex” get agreement from “Doug” it shouldn’t be surprising. And when you see “Juan Gonza” parrot the line that “Doug” took it should be expected. I guess it’s flattering that the NC right-wing machine feels funding someone to spend enormous amounts of time on our blog is worthwhile, but ignoring the anonymous posts he wouldn’t dare confess to writing under his own name should be easy.