NCLM director: Cities and towns increasingly concerned about cuts to public education (video)

In recent weeks, educators have filed lawsuits challenging the recently enacted school voucher law and the elimination of teacher tenure.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has fired back at both suits labeling them as  “frivolous” brought by  “left-wing interest groups fighting every attempt to improve public education.”

But the issue of education funding is getting more and more attention from local elected officials. Ellis Hankins, the longtime executive director of the NC League of Municipalities, says state funding and the quality of education being offered students is a growing concern for NCLM’s members.

“If we don’t keep those institutions strong and effective, our state and certainly everyone who lives here is going to pay the price for that,” said Hankins.

Hankins, who retires this month, joins us this weekend on News & Views to discuss the economic outlook of North Carolina’s cities and towns as the year draws to a close. For a preview of that radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    December 19, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Here is a thought: It a city or town is concerned about funding their local educational bodies. Why don’t they raise their local taxes to get funding to the level they see fit? Now, I know the dollars they would desire in the level of infinity is hard to get at the local level; but they can surely contribute more if it is such a priority. And if they made their county more competitive with more taxes and possibly better schools then word would get out and more people would move to the county to pay the higher taxes and continue the cycle. Doing this at the local level makes the most sense as that is where the results can be seen the most, and the elected body is closest to the electorate.

  2. ML

    December 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Have you read the state constitution and what it states about public education in NC?

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    December 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm


  4. LayintheSmakDown

    December 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Yes, and that legislature is providing for an education and students are being educated. There is no specified standard or level of funding. If a locality is not satisfied with the funding then they have the freedom to supplement the state’s funding level—-think teacher supplements as an example.

    Sec. 15. Education.
    The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.

  5. LayintheSmakDown

    December 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Just because I was thinking about it even more, here is Article IX Sec. 2. “Uniform system of schools”. This specifically allows for local entities to take on responsibility for schools.
    (1) General and uniform system: term. The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and
    (2) Local responsibility. The General Assembly may assign to units of local government such responsibility for the financial support of the free public schools as it may deem appropriate. The governing boards of units of local government with financial responsibility for public education may use local revenues to add to or supplement any public school or post-secondary school program.

    The NC Legislature having maintained a general uniform system….it is now on the localities to do what is needed.

  6. dw

    December 20, 2013 at 9:07 am

    You are right. Local school district taxes work great in many states. The result is the best school districts are often in townships with the highest school tax base per student. Families and businesses seek out these districts, pay the local tax, enjoy better facilities, and get/retain the best teachers. Real estate values usually are higher because of this. The school districts that don’t support an adequate school tax base suffer; metropolitan areas. Pennsylvania is an example of this.

  7. Alan

    December 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

    And now all of a sudden, the GOP is pro higher taxes…. Up is Down, Down is Up in GOPLand.

  8. LayintheSmakDown

    December 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I am not pro taxes. But if the locality decides that is needed then they can go for it. I for one, if there was no other consideration than taxes, would not move there. But, I might if I considered it a true value. See there is a freedom of choice there, just like in NC….if you don’t like the tax rate or the government perks, or the policies of the state then you can choose to live elsewhere

    Let me give you an example of this, Guilford County has very high taxes, and an inept school board….I USED to live there and no longer do, I have found a county with lower taxes and get this->>>better schools. That is a (semi) free market at work. Good stuff if you ask me.

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