Commentary, Education

Higher Ed advocates: NC is falling short in its support for K-12 (graph)

The good people at the Higher Education Works Foundation have published the latest installment in their “Where We Stand” series, which looks at where North Carolina stands in “a variety of education metrics, from pre-Kindergarten through the university.” The post is entitled “K-12: Progress, but a long way to go” and we’re happy to cross-post it here.

North Carolina’s spending on K-12 public education took a hit during and after the Great Recession – and it still hasn’t fully recovered.

Compared with its neighbors, North Carolina’s spending per student ranked 8th of 11 Southeastern states in 2017-18.1  North Carolina both lags adjacent states – trailing South Carolina by $2,385 per pupil – and has yet to restore spending per student to pre-recession levels.

In constant dollars, North Carolina’s spending per student peaked at $9,952 in 2007-08, ranking 40th in the nation.  State support per student continued to slide to $8,784 in 2012-13, when North Carolina ranked 46th.

As North Carolina’s population continued to grow, state legislators made incremental increases until spending per student reached an estimated $9,528 in 2017-18, ranking 39th.2  But spending per student still remained $424 less than pre-recession levels in 2017-18, after adjusting for inflation.

Beyond the dollars, officials have focused in recent years on 3rd-grade reading proficiency.

Ninth-graders who read proficiently in 3rd grade are three times more likely to go to college, Venessa Harrison, President of AT&T North Carolina, noted at a recent NC Chamber Conference on Education.

Yet students who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out, Harrison said, and 62% of North Carolina 4th-graders do not read proficiently.

We’ve made some progress, but we have a long way to go.

1 http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/180413-Rankings_And_Estimates_Report_2018.pdf, p. 83. Current expenditures: The expenditures for operating local public schools, excluding capital outlay and interest on school debt.  These expenditures include such items as salaries for school personnel, fixed charges, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs.

2 https://www.wral.com/nc-ranks-37th-in-nation-for-teacher-pay-39th-in-per-pupil-spending/17504331/.

Check Also

NY Times features powerful video highlighting NC Medicaid vigils

In case you missed it yesterday, the New ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A new report released this morning finds that expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would create more [...]

Groundwater near a coal ash repository in Chatham County has again tested high for contaminants, pro [...]

In 2016, Hurricane Florence moved so slowly – more like a mosey, instead of a sprint – that it empti [...]

State lawmakers allegedly violated the North Carolina constitution when they passed legislation that [...]

Last week I published a blog post detailing how NC Superintendent Mark Johnson ignored the recommend [...]

It’s back…and, tragically, worse than ever. After fading from view back in April upon winning approv [...]

The post Protecting NC’s hog industry from nuisance actions appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

There’s a scene in “The West Wing” – liberals’ sweaty, Emmy-hording ode to progressivism – in which [...]