See how badly the GOP budget fails public education

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Despite Republican lawmakers’ big claims about the education funding included in their budget, any North Carolina teacher will tell you our public school system has diminished under Republican rule. In fact, a comparison of education funding statistics under the current budget to the 2008-09 budget -- the last budget year before the Great Recession began -- shows just how far our state has fallen under Republican rule.

Education budget comparisons over time are relevant only if one adjusts for inflation and enrollment growth. As the numbers below show, an inflation / enrollment adjusted comparison clearly shows that Republican budgets have cut North Carolina public schools. Some budget categories have suffered dramatically.

“When responsible budget comparisons over time adjust for inflation and enrollment growth, it’s crystal clear that the state legislature since 2010 has continued to cut our public schools,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director at Progress NC Action. “What other conclusion can be made when parents, teachers, and students complain of teacher turnover and shabby materials and the budgets for textbooks, supplies, and teacher have whittled over the last decade.”

  • In 2008-09, North Carolina invested $6,793 per student when adjusted for inflation. But under the 2017-18 Republican budget, per-pupil funding is only $6,317 -- nearly $500 less per student than before the recession began.

  • In 2008-09, North Carolina’s textbook funding per student was $75.95 when adjusted for inflation. Under the 2017-18 Republican budget, it’s only $47.10 -- nearly 40% lower than the pre-recession amount.

  • In 2008-09, North Carolina public schools had 22,502 state-funded teacher assistants. Under the 2017-18 budget, that number is down to 15,720 -- nearly 7,000 fewer TAs than before the recession.

  • In 2008-09, North Carolina spent $65.98 per student on classroom materials when adjusted for inflation. Under the 2017-18 budget, per-pupil funding for classroom materials is only $30.55 -- less than half of the pre-recession level.

And when you compare the inflation-adjusted salary schedule from 2008-09 to the current budget, the difference becomes even more apparent. Nearly every single salary step is lower than before the recession began, and some veteran teachers are making nearly 15% less than they would have under the adjusted pre-recession schedule.

NC Teacher Salary Schedules, 2008-09 (Inflation Adjusted) vs. 2017-18

Years Experience

2008-09 Salary (Inflation Adjusted)

2017-18 Salary (GOP Budget)

2008 / 2017 Difference (Adjusted $)

2008 / 2017 Difference (Adjusted %)

0

$35,299

$35,000

-$299

-0.8%

1

$35,786

$36,000

$214

0.6%

2

$36,296

$36,300

$4

0.0%

3

$37,862

$37,300

-$562

-1.5%

4

$39,486

$37,300

-$2,186

-5.5%

5

$41,041

$38,300

-$2,741

-6.7%

6

$42,537

$38,300

-$4,237

-10.0%

7

$43,744

$39,300

-$4,444

-10.2%

8

$44,300

$39,300

-$5,000

-11.3%

9

$44,869

$40,550

-$4,319

-9.6%

10

$45,449

$40,550

-$4,899

-10.8%

11

$46,017

$42,050

-$3,967

-8.6%

12

$46,609

$42,050

-$4,559

-9.8%

13

$47,200

$43,550

-$3,650

-7.7%

14

$47,815

$43,550

-$4,265

-8.9%

15

$48,442

$45,550

-$2,892

-6.0%

16

$49,080

$46,300

-$2,780

-5.7%

17

$49,718

$47,300

-$2,418

-4.9%

18

$50,402

$47,300

-$3,102

-6.2%

19

$51,075

$48,300

-$2,775

-5.4%

20

$51,748

$48,300

-$3,448

-6.7%

21

$52,467

$49,300

-$3,167

-6.0%

22

$53,174

$49,300

-$3,874

-7.3%

23

$53,940

$50,000

-$3,940

-7.3%

24

$54,682

$50,000

-$4,682

-8.6%

25

$55,436

$51,300

-$4,136

-7.5%

26

$56,202

$51,300

-$4,902

-8.7%

27

$56,991

$51,300

-$5,691

-10.0%

28

$57,814

$51,300

-$6,514

-11.3%

29

$58,638

$51,300

-$7,338

-12.5%

30

$59,775

$51,300

-$8,475

-14.2%

31+

$60,958

$51,300

-$9,658

-15.8%

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