Coming-up this weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, we hear from Rick Glazier, executive director of the NC Justice Center on missed opportunities in the 2017-19 state budget. For a preview of our radio interview, click below:
The NC Budget & Tax Center also outlined several of the missed opportunities in a new brief they released this week. Here’s an excerpt of from that report on inadequate investments in our public schools.
• Classroom Teachers: The new budget does not provide any of the estimated $293 million needed by schools to meet the state-mandated class size reduction requirements – creating an unfunded mandate that passes the buck down to local communities.
• Classroom Supplies and Materials: Lawmakers provide no additional state funding for classroom materials and instructional supplies; funding is around half its peak 2009 investment level when adjusted for inflation. Rather than increase state funding for classroom supplies and instructional material, lawmakers recently reinstated a deduction into the tax code for up to $250 that teachers can claim, for state income tax purposes, for out-of-pocket expenses incurred to pay for classroom supplies.
• Textbooks: One-time state funding for textbooks and digital learning materials in the budget leaves state funding per student for this area of the public schools budget at nearly half of peak 2010 spending when adjusted for inflation.
• Professional Development: No state funding is provided and dedicated solely for professional development for classroom teachers and school leaders. Lawmakers have not included state funding for this important area of public schools for years, reflecting a lack of state support for the development of teachers and educators who are tasked with educating nearly 1.5 million students.
Read the full BTC report here.