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Final budget fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s public schools

The final budget that lawmakers have proposed fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s public schools. While the public schools area of the budget seems to have a lot going on – one could argue that a lot of special pet projects made it into the final budget – the reality is that little is achieved in ensuring that every student receives a high quality education, regardless of where they live in the state. Consequently, educators will embark upon the upcoming school year with the familiar challenge of doing more with fewer and inadequate resources.

Here are some highlights of the public schools budget that reflects the austerity budget approach state leaders continue to pursue despite an improving economy.

Lawmakers’ appetite for more and more tax cuts comes at the expense of ensuring that public schools have adequate resources to provide a high quality education to all students, regardless of where they live in the state. The final budget includes more tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations, reducing available revenue by nearly $530 million over the next two years. This budget is a reflection of how little lawmakers prioritize the education of our students, and consequently a tale of under-investing in the state’s future.

Cedric D. Johnson is a Public Policy Analyst for the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center.