Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget fails to restore funding for textbooks and classroom instructional material

This is the 4th post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the other posts here and here and here.

Chances are schools across North Carolina will continue to rely on outdated textbooks and limited resources for classroom supplies for the upcoming school year. The Senate budget approved last week fails to provide additional funding for these two classroom areas in the wake of dramatic state funding cuts to both textbooks and classroom instructional supplies in recent years.

Since the 2009-10 fiscal year, state funding for textbooks has been cut by 81 percent, down from $119 million when adjusted for inflation to around $23 million for the current school year. As for classroom materials and instructional supplies, state funding has been cut by nearly 47 percent since FY 2009-10, down from $90.7 million when adjusted for inflation to around $50 million for the current school year. Local schools systems have been challenged with replacing these state funding cuts with other funding sources or continuing the trend of doing more with fewer resources.

K-12 ed_Textbook & Classroom Supplies
Inadequate state funding for textbooks means the continued use of outdated textbooks, and in some cases schools have resorted to making photocopies from textbooks to ensure that students have learning materials. Diminished funding for classroom instructional materials has meant teachers having to reach into their pockets to buy supplies for classroom instruction.

The decision to not restore funding for textbooks and classroom material and supplies in the Senate budget comes on the heels of policymakers passing a tax plan last year that significantly reduces annual revenue for public investments now and in the years ahead. Policymakers now face huge revenue shortfalls for the current budget as well as for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year budget, which are driven by the tax plan passed last year. This foregone revenue could have help boost investments in our public schools.

As House budget writers work to put together their proposed budget, restoring funding for textbooks and classroom supplies would represent a positive step in promoting a quality education for all North Carolina students. Revenue options are available to responsibly demonstrate this commitment. Policymakers should stop the additional income tax cuts slated to go into effect January 2015. Doing so would allow for greater investments in the state’s future workforce, and in turn, the Tar Heel state as a whole.

15 Comments

  1. LayintheSmakDown

    June 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    So why do they need textbooks anyway. Most schools are moving to the smart boards and online ways of doing things. Certainly a step in the right direction.

    Cue Alan/ML CRAZY….CAPSLOCK…..TALK….IN..3….2….1

  2. Alan

    June 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Childish, beyond belief… you continue to embarrass yourself.

  3. Alex

    June 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    You’ll have to excuse Alan. He’s probably still using encyclopedias Smackdown !

  4. ML

    June 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    If that were the case, where is the funding for iPads, Internet, kindles, laptops, and computers for students to access the material? I agree it is a smart move to integrate technology in the classrooms but the fact of the matter is we haven’t yet. So until then, it should be upsetting we are slashing funding for adequate texts books.

  5. LayintheSmakDown

    June 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    ML/Alan,
    From my experience in two different school systems they actually bring home printouts most often. But maybe you can ask Dumplin and Sleasley as this started when my kid was in kindergarten under their oppressive regimes. I was pretty baffled to say the least what a bad state of affairs the democrat party had decreased education when my kids got in the system.

  6. Kay

    June 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    How will a child who has no internet or technological access at home be able to keep up if everything is on the Internet? If you expect handouts to come home, who is going to pay for the paper, the toner, the maintenance of the copy machines? Last year, I received two reams of paper- not 2 cases- 2 reams. How long do you think that lasted? Anything beyond that came out of my pocket.

  7. ML

    June 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Ok so not really the same thing then. Good for those that have access to printers and the internet.

    It’s still a sad state of affairs yet our state wants to make the situation worse? Textbooks still play a vital role in the schools and until those in control do something about it they are just as guilty. Stop with the blame game can’t we just agree more needs to be done to support our education system. You’ve Already concedes it’s a sad state of affairs. How is cutting more from the budget going to improve the system? Just bc I know where you are going to go, I’m not suggesting we just throw money at it but taking away more resources won’t help.

  8. LayintheSmakDown

    June 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I certainly dont think more money needs to be thrown at the educrat. All we have received from the what 30% of the NC budget schools receive and massive increases the past couple of years is the same begging for more and more money. Cutting the budget should make the educrats to think like a business that competes for customers, maybe cut all these programs that don’t work, or whether they need that next high paying administrator. There are plenty of non classroom employees that would not be missed. And as far as those cuts from a few years ago, the schools seem to be operating pretty well. They may not have all the bells and whistles but that can be a good thing.

  9. Alan

    June 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Well, hasn’t Prof. LSD been busy today. He’s been a Constitutional Law expert, an Education Policy wonk, and an MD, all in the same day! Team Civitas must be so proud to have such an intellectual giant on it’s staff!

  10. ML

    June 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    LSD already said the education system was in a sad state of affairs. Now you backtrack? So when dems were in control it was a sad state but now that republicans have made cuts that the professionals or what you call educrats( thanks for insulting my mother who is a public school teacher in NC) state have hurt and will continue to hurt the system, it is fine and dandy.

    Also what 30% percent increase over 2 years are you talking about? And how to you go from an increase to cuts at the end of your comment? So we have a 30% increase over 2 years and a cuts a few years ago that has made the schools better? So democrats “a few years ago” cut the budget to make it better and in the last 2 years the repubs increased the budget 30% giving us nothing? Typical conservative to create facts that are pleasant to you’re misinformed arguement.

  11. ML

    June 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    If you’re going to wrong at least accurate or consistent.

  12. Alan

    June 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    ML, LSD is consistently wrong.

  13. LayintheSmakDown

    June 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I said operating well…not in a great state of affairs. I don’t see schools shutting down or laying off people despite all the hysteria. Although looking at you Alan/ML I may be convinced to the contrary as you guys obviously skipped the reading comprehension classes.

  14. LayintheSmakDown

    June 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    And here I thought there could be an intelligent non-trolled conversation. Silly for me to think that when on the PW. At least you guys (guy?) are being paid the troll commission again now that I am back.

  15. ML

    June 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Ok then “operating well” but it still doesn’t matter, you contradicted yourself multiple times (sad state of affairs, “operating well”) while failing to explain the seemingly overlapping cuts and budget increases (can’t do both at the same time). Instead you attack my reading skills, the very essence of trolling. Nice try toast.