On Friday, Chris Mai of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities documented some remarkable numbers  related to American support for public education. As her chart below shows, North Carolina’s dwindling support parallels a disturbing national trend:
“Local governments added 20,000 education jobs in the month of August, the Labor Department reported  today. That’s good news, but schools remain in a big hole from the recession: local school districts still have 297,000 fewer jobs than in August 2008 (see chart).
This means that, even as K-12 enrollment has risen — by 800,000 students between the fall of 2008 and fall of 2013, according to the Education Department  — schools have fewer teachers, librarians, principals, guidance counselors, nurses, and other staff to help them.
Instead of setting our students up for success at the start of a new school year, we’re giving them less support than just a few years ago.