A recent study found that just 23 percent of 4-year-olds in North Carolina have access to pre-k, below the national average. Meanwhile teacher pay in N.C. remains $7.8k less than the national average and NC teachers make 35.5 percent less than other 4-year college graduates in the state. Teachers pay out-of-pocket for school supplies to meet classroom needs. However, unchecked growth of charter schools has created a fiscal burden on local school districts of $500 to $700 per student.
A number of education-related bills are moving through the NCGA this session, but some appear to do more harm than good. We’ve highlighted three of those bills below.
H485 seeks to address a problem created by Republicans when they rolled back Smart-Start funding and, since then, continually failed to address the growing pre-k waitlist. Instead of funding pre-k, lawmakers want to send 4-year-olds to school online. Experts have concerns about the virtual learning pilot program because the value of pre-k “is less about the skill-learning in reading and math and more about skill-learning in social-emotional domains.” Virtual pre-k is a short-sighted effort to solve a funding failure with long-term impacts.Read More
Making the Middle Class Tax Shift Permanent
S75 – The “Millionaires Protection Act” is meant to make Republican Politicians radical tax shift from those at the top to working families permanent
The “Millionaires Protection Act” would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that locks in income tax rates that largely benefit the wealthy – over the last four years the average millionaire saved almost $15,000, while the average family saved only $6 (that’s SIX dollars) a year from the tax changes enacted by Republican politicians.
In order to lock in these huge tax cuts for millionaires, Republican politicians will also be locking in current education funding that is lower per student than it was before the recession and causes North Carolina to be ranked 45th for teachers in the country.Read More
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Larry Yarborough, the Republican from House District 2. Before joining the General Assembly in 2014, Yarborough was a County Commissioner in Person County.
Yarborough has a degree in chemical engineering and was the primary sponsor of H56, a bill that provided GenX funding and was tied to the repeal of the plastic bag ban in the Outer Banks.
Yarborough has consistently voted for more tax cuts over public education. He voted for the 2017 Republican budget that continue the trend of cutting taxes rather than raising per pupil spending and the 2016 and 2015 budgets that let education spending in NC fall even further behind.Read More
In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Rep. Chris Malone, the Republican representative from District 35 and Deputy Majority Whip for the 2017-2018 legislative session. He was first elected in 2012 and currently serves as the chair of the Wildlife Resources Committee and the Appropriations on Health and Human Services Committee and vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. Malone’s political career started over 15 years ago as a Wake Forest Town Commissioner in 2001. He was on the Wake County School Board in 2009 until his resignation in 2012. During his time on the school board, he was called a “hard-liner” who “served without distinction.” As a Representative, Malone has sponsored bills that aimed to restore partisan judicial elections and bar federal Medicaid expansion. After being delinquent at least 25 times paying them, Malone tried to repeal motor vehicle renewal and property taxes – while voting to raise sales taxes on working families. Read more here.
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.
In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..
The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right:
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:
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.
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…Read More
Yesterday the NCGA’s Fiscal Research Division and OSBM released new state revenue forecasts that found a $400 million surplus, instead of a deficit, as had been previously estimated. But buried in the official memo are two dichotomies that explains all you need to know about …Read More