12 Reasons Why this Budget is Bad for North Carolina

1. No raises for most teachers

Veteran educators like Laura are outraged about this budget that does nothing to improve pay for our experienced educators. Instead, they'll get only a one-time, $750 bonus. That won't do anything to stop the exodus of qualified and experienced educators from North Carolina classrooms.

2. Holding TAs hostage

For months politicians in Raleigh held 8,500 hard-working TAs hostage, threatening the largest layoff in state history if they didn't get their way. This created unnecessary stress and anxiety for educators as school started. When they finally decided to fund TA positions this year, politicians wanted praise. That's like the arsonist wanting credit for putting out the fire he started. It's just not right. 

And, while TAs might not get cut this year, we still have 7,000 fewer TAs than we did in 2008, thanks to cuts from politicians in Raleigh. 

3. Restricting school flexibility

While politicians claim their budget fully funds TA positions, it comes with a massive caveat. They're now restricting schools from using TA funds for hiring teachers, or anything else. Given that our schools have been starved of resources for years, some districts have made the difficult decision to use TA money in other critical areas. Now they won't be able to that, and it's unclear where the funding for those teachers will come from. 

4. Textbook investment falls short

While this budget does invest more in textbooks than last year's budget, it still is less than half of what we invested in 2008, despite the large growth in enrollment. The bottom line is that with funding still woefully inadequate, expect to see more stories of students not having textbooks for homework.

5. More cuts for the UNC system

 

Despite being an economic engine for the entire state, politicians continued the recent trend of cutting higher education. The UNC system budget is cut by $18 million in this budget, at exactly the moment we need to be investing more in higher education. 

6. Community college tuition hikes

While many states are moving toward tuition-free community college, this budget once again raises tuition fees. Since 2008, community college tuition is up nearly 80%. We need to make education more affordable for those who need it, this budget fails to do that. 

7. Raising taxes on working families

Despite the spin from politicians around tax season, most North Carolinians say they paid more in state taxes than they did last year. That's because the General Assembly got rid of key deductions and expanded the sales tax to new services. This year they're doubling down on regressive tax hikes, further expanding the sales tax base in a way that will cost North Carolina's families.

8. More tax giveaways to big corporations 

Not only are politicians raising taxes on working families and refusing to support our educators, they're also giving massive handouts to the biggest corporations in the state. This will continue to starve our state, and therefore our classrooms, of critical resources they need for students to thrive.

9. Defunding women's health care

Politicians in Raleigh are also doubling down on the war on women, including a provision in the budget that seeks to defund Planned Parenthood and any other women's health organization that performs abortions. When are they going to understand that the government has no place in a decision between a woman and her doctor.

10. Killing the solar industry

Despite generating $4.7 billion in economic activity for the state, politicians are eliminating North Carolinian's renewable energy tax credit, which helped make NC a hub for innovation in clean energy. It's likely that because of this budget, an blossoming industry will be destroyed.

11. Killing light-rail

Buried in the budget is a provision that will doom any hope for a new light-rail project in North Carolina. Politicians are limiting what the state of NC will invest for a light-rail project to $500,000, not nearly enough to build a functioning system that will improve transit. Given North Carolina's growth, particularly in the Triangle, we need to be innovating and developing new transit options. This budget does the opposite. 

12. Subsidizing fracking

As the dropping price of oil continues to make high-risk, low-reward fracking operations obsolete, North Carolina politicians are ready to hand over your tax dollars to big oil companies for fracking. This represents the worst kind of cronyism and highlights just how out of touch politicians in Raleigh are.

Ultimately, this was a budget written in secret that protects special interests at the expense of working families and educators. Politicians in Raleigh clearly have the wrong priorities for North Carolina. Help spread the word about the damage this budget does to our state.

Comments

  1. Penelope Carscaddon's avatar
    Penelope Carscaddon
    | Permalink
    I have lived in NC for 83 years. I don't remember a budget that is this harmful to education I all my life . We used to have a reason to be proud of our state, now I am embarrassed to say I live here.
  2. Penelope Carscaddon's avatar
    Penelope Carscaddon
    | Permalink
    I have lived in NC for 83 years. I don't remember a budget that is this harmful to education I all my life . We used to have a reason to be proud of our state, now I am embarrassed to say I live here.
  3. Mike's avatar
    Mike
    | Permalink
    Looks very clearly like twelve reasons the budget reflects opportunity for the people of the state to step up and make what the government cannot do, and be true Americans, and not socialists.
  4. Mike's avatar
    Mike
    | Permalink
    Looks very clearly like 12 reasons for "the people" to step up as True Americans, and not socialists, and get things done instead of the government.<br /> Please see Hillsdale College website for their free online Economics classes. See especially the one on "prices".
  5. Amy's avatar
    Amy
    | Permalink
    The first thing that needs to be done is quit giving all these high pay raises to city,state and government officials. all the schools and the education for our children has been going down hill since the schools don't even use books anymore. Everything is done by computers. Children don't even have to write anymore they just type their names in the space. Everything that goes on in our state whether it's good or bad is our state officials fault. State department is telling to go green and do this or that to help our state but it's the state officials fault because they want more and more money. It seems to me they can't get enough. I want to leave this state because the state officials said they can't do this or that because they don't have enough time or money. I'm so suck of them complaining about money and letting our kids educational needs go through the cracks. North Carolina
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