Educators, Parents Tired of General Assembly Underfunding Schools
Teachers and parents held a rally to reject Governor McCrory's plan for teachers and instead use that money to actually help students. North Carolina schools are completely underfunded with teachers sometimes pulling from their own resources just to make sure they students get what they need.
Speakers told nearly 70 listeners in the governmental plaza about some of the challenges the schools face.
Alan Parker, the principal at Southwest Guilford High, said his school is enjoying high graduation rates — most recently at about 97 percent.
However, those students benefited from higher per-pupil spending when they were much younger students, before the recession and before the state began cutting spending, Parker said.
They had more teachers and newer books available to them.
Cuts have increased class sizes, reduced the number of teachers available and prevented schools from being able to provide students with up-to-date textbooks.
Teachers have had to rebind math books four times, Parker said. History books are more problematic, particularly when it comes to current events, he said.
“My ninth-graders are 14,” he said. “They have some textbooks that are 15 years old.”
And as demand goes up, revenue goes down, people attending the rally said.
“My school has grown over 200 kids since 2007,” Parker said, “and we’ve lost seven teacher positions.”
That puts more burdens on everybody involved in educating students, he said.