News

State lawmakers poised to study inequities in North Carolina school funding

North Carolina lawmakers appear poised to convene a task force to prepare reforms to the state’s formula for funding schools, after a nonpartisan report skewered the complicated system for multiple inequities and inefficiencies last year.

As Policy Watch reported in November, the school funding formula—broken into 37 separate categories allocating resources for textbooks, teachers, administration and more—was blasted by the state’s Program Evaluation Division (PED).

PED noted yawning disparities between rich and poor counties, “illogical and uneven” funding for students with limited English proficiency, shortfalls in cash for children with disabilities and other significant problems with a fragmented structure for bankrolling North Carolina public education.

As expected, one of the first bills filed by lawmakers this week would create a task force composed of equal parts House and Senate appointees to study methods of reforming school funding. The task force would begin work no later than October, with a final report to the legislature due in July 2018.

It’s worth noting that the bill, as it currently stands, does not offer any appointments for Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat currently mired in court with the GOP-dominated legislature over appointment powers.

Some have suggested North Carolina could move to a weighted student-based funding formula, which, according to some, would offer a more transparent, simpler means of financing public schools.

Put simply, such a funding formula offers a designated amount of cash per student, layered with additional “weights” for students in need of additional services. Read about student-based funding here.

Others have argued, however, that the state should first study the adequacy of its total K-12 funding, pointing out North Carolina’s national ranking in per-pupil spending is among the worst in the nation.

The legislation has been assigned to the House Education Committee. Watch Policy Watch for further updates on this pivotal legislation.

Check Also

In Robeson County, local paper endorses controversial charter takeover

A controversial state plan for charter takeover of ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Republicans in Congress are rushing to advance a tax reform bill that balloons the federal deficit s [...]

The post Charitable donations and the GOP’s chopping block appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

13---percentage of households in the U.S. that were food insecure on average from 2014-2016. Meaning [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more