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Unconstitutional GOP majority proposes budget—our first take

This unconstitutionally elected Republican majority continues to legislate, not on behalf of the people of North Carolina, but on behalf of their billionaire backers. Instead of protecting the middle class and building world-class public schools, this budget gives tax breaks to billionaires. Under this budget, North Carolina will keep falling behind when it doesn’t have to.

  • The Republican budget fails our schools, middle class families, and the future of our economy at a time when we do not have to.
  • Cooper found a way to raise teacher pay more than 5% next year. Republicans only offer 3.3%. Instead of investing in classrooms, Republicans are giving millions in tax breaks to billionaires.
  • Cooper offered free community college for high school graduates, money to help teachers pay for out-of-pocket expenses, and eliminated the waitlist for pre-K. Republicans did none of those things.
  • Under this budget, we are still spending less that we did before the recession per student, teachers are still underpaid, and we have seven thousand fewer teaching assistants than we did in 2008.
  • Instead of prioritizing education, Republicans are undercutting our kids and it’s our economy that will suffer as North Carolina falls farther and farther behind other states and competitors like China and India. 

In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..

  • Governor Cooper's budget invests $20 million to expand access to broadband and improve the economy of rural North Carolina, while the Republican budget would spend $250,000 on state IT bureaucrats.
  • Cooper proposed $30 million for a ready-sites program to attract new jobs to rural areas. The Republican budget leaves rural areas behind, choosing to spend only $2 million on ready-sites.

The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right:

  • The Republican budget spends $1.3 million on an anti-abortion advocacy group that masquerades as a provider of health services to women, pushing dangerous and misleading propaganda on vulnerable women.
  • The GOP spends $40 million on private school vouchers which send tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools.

 

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Dan Forest lauds state education funding in Onslow County, which ranks 110 of out 115 in state spending on schools

“We are sixth in the nation for state funding for education.” That’s what Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told a gathering of local Republicans on Friday. It’s not the first time Forest has made this debunked claim, but what’s really out of touch is where he said it.

Forest lauded state education spending while speaking in Onslow County, a county that is falling behind in statewide per pupil spending. 

Over the past four years, Onslow County has consistently received less money than the average from the state per pupil. In the 2015-2016 school year, the average per pupil state spending was $5724.21, but Onslow County Schools only received $5,247.34. During this same year, Onslow County ranked 110th out of 115 NC Local Education Agencies, or LEAs, in state funding per pupil. 

Per Pupil Expenditures

School Year

Onslow Spending

State Spending in Onslow

Avg. State Spending

2015-16

5,247.34

5,247.34

5,724.21

2014-15

5,247.34

5,249.80

5,638.39

2013-14

2,258.99

5,025.95

5,390.12

2012-13

1,984.17

4,961.27

5,399.64

(NC Public Schools, per pupil expenditures, child nutrition included, 2012-2016)
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NEA REPORT: NC Per Student Spending Drops

The newest NEA State Education Rankings were released today and the biggest news is that North Carolina's per pupil funding actually dropped from 2016 to 2017. Here are the highlights:

  • NC currently ranked 43rd in per pupil spending, was ranked 42nd last year 
  • NC per pupil spending went down from 2016 to 2017
  • NC currently spends $3,044 less per student than national average
  • NC only beats Mississippi in Southeast in per pupil spending

 

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2017 North Carolina Senate Budget - Quick Takeaways

It’s clear from Senate Republicans’ proposed budget that they are determined to follow their same misguided priorities - placing the millionaires and billionaires that fund their campaigns ahead of the needs of everyday North Carolinians. When compared to the governor's budget, this budget falls short in several key ways:

  • Cooper’s plan is a realistic plan to get teacher pay to the national average in five years and raises teacher pay by 5% this year. The Senate plan only raises teacher pay 3.7%.
  • Every teacher gets a raise under the Cooper plan. Under the Senate plan, the most veteran teachers get no raise at all.
  • Cooper’s budget invests $8 million more in textbooks and increases per pupil spending by almost $200 more than the Senate plan.
  • Instead of eliminating the wait list for Pre-K or providing for tuition-free community college as Governor Cooper did, Republicans have chosen to spend another $44 million on private school vouchers.

Instead of investing in schools, the Republican leaders in the Senate are willing to give away hundreds of millions of dollars on tax breaks for billionaires and giant corporations.

This plan would give millionaires a tax cut 60 times the size of what middle class families would receive.

Since Republicans have taken control of the state legislature they’ve chosen millionaires before the middle class every step of the way. Under the Senate plan, eighty percent of state tax breaks since 2013 went to the wealthiest North Carolinians.

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Budget Compromise? A Response.

Yesterday, Speaker Tim Moore announced that a budget compromise may be on the horizon and it could feature block grants to local school districts. Instead of choosing the Senate’s plan to layoff teacher assistants and hire more teachers or the House’s version that protects TA&rsq…

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Election Week Memo: Education and the Environment Won the 2014 Election

Download Memo (PDF) To: Interested Parties From: Real Facts NC Date: October 30, 2014 Re: Education and the Environment Won the 2014 Election No matter which candidates win on Nov. 4—from county commissioner to U.S. Senate—it is clear public education and the environment d…

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