Uncategorized

A Hollow Victory for Public Schools

If someone offers your favorite public service or program a dedicated revenue source take my advice and just say "no." For proof of this fact consider the hollow victory for public schools announced yesterday. A state court judge has ruled that North Carolina's public schools are due $749.7 million in past revenue from fines and forfeitures that should have turned over to them in compliance with the state constitution.

It should come as no surprise that House Speaker Joe Hackney has already announced that the state does not have the funds to pay back the schools. So what have the schools accomplished? They certainly made their point – the state constitution intends for them to have that money. But in reality they will have replaced their general fund dollars that are backed by the stability and long-term growth record of personal income tax revenues with revenues from fines and forfeitures, a source that grows only when fines are increased and as the population increases. Undoubtedly this revenue source will underperform relative to the needs of our public schools.

The lesson to be learned from this story is not to seek or accept a dedicated revenue source to support any program or public service you care about unless it meets two criteria. First, it should provide 100% of the revenue needed to support a particular program. Second, it should grow at the same pace as the anticipated costs of the program. Accepting dedicated revenue sources (fine and forfeiture funds and lottery proceeds being prime examples) will do your cause more harm than good.

Check Also

A public success story: North Carolina’s older adults are far less likely to live in poverty

According to data released last week by the ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Fifty-one duplicate invoices. At least $20,000 in excess payments. And one nonprofit receiving a dis [...]

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thom Tillis made a stunning reversal on Thursday, declaring he would support Pres [...]

Rainwater monitoring conducted by state environmental regulators show one detection of a type of per [...]

North Carolina lawmakers are debating two proposals that would direct state money to fund long overd [...]

The post Profiles in courage…and cowardice appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

It’s Sunshine Week, and things have never been gloomier for the newspaper industry. This year’s annu [...]

Gov. Roy Cooper is an enormously skilled politician with a top-flight staff and many years of experi [...]

The post For a few dollars more… appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]