Citizen-Times: Textbook Funding Still A Major Issue For Schools
The Asheville Citizen-Times has an editorial that brings attention to a major issue for students getting ready to come back to school, textbooks. Over the last few years, funding for textbooks has fallen 78% and that's leaving some classrooms without enough books for kids to take home. From their editorial,
Remember your school days, when you had your very own set of textbooks to carry to and from school, and occasionally to lose?
That’s not the case today. Thanks to the General Assembly’s latest budget wizardry, North Carolina students are lucky to have access to an up-to-date textbook, let alone one of their own.
Schools have been forced to buy just enough texts for one class, meaning the books must remain in the classroom for the next class to use. In many instances, schools have to keep using older texts, even if they are outdated.
In the last five years, state money for textbooks has dropped from more than $111 million, about $76 per student, to $23.3 million, or $15.37 per student, according to Eric Moore of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
For Buncombe County schools, the reduction was from about $1.7 million to around $368,000.
“I have students who come to me every year, and they’ll say I don’t understand why I don’t have a textbook for this class,” said Owen High Principal Meg Turner.
Traditionally, texts were changed when the curriculum was changed. Now, Turner said, some students are using books that are “really, really out of date.”