Somehow, legislative leaders remain under the false notion that they have fully funded the 2018-19 K-3 class-size requirements. Recently, Sen. Phil Berger has claimed that since 2014, local school districts have received roughly $222 million to lower class sizes, and that this additional investment is sufficient to meet next year’s smaller class sizes.
Senator Berger is very wrong.
Additional funding from the legislature has allowed North Carolina school districts to hire an additional 1,966.5 teachers, as compared to the 2013-14 school year. However, as compared to the 2013-14 school year, the new class-size requirements necessitate the hiring of 6,678.5 additional teachers. There remains an unfunded gap of 4,712 teachers, or approximately $304 million.
The funds mentioned by Sen. Berger have nothing to do with meeting next year’s change in class sizes. The citation of these figures is a poor attempt to distract from the fact that next year’s class-size mandate remains unfunded. The resources below allow anyone (even a General Assembly member) to do the math themselves to see the extent to which the FY 2018-19 class-size mandate remains unfunded. Read more