McCrory's Possible Post-Election Budget Cuts Don't Line Up With His Campaign
Despite McCrory's campaign claiming to support schools during election season, there is a possible 2% state budget cut coming after the election for the years 2017-2019. This budget cut has the potential to hit education hard, amounting to a loss of $173M, despite a reported $425M state surplus this year.
The reduction, according to the state’s top school leaders, could have drastic implications for the state’s teaching force, classroom supplies and teaching assistants, as well as funding for special needs and at-risk children, low-wealth counties, transportation and career and technical education—practically every major component of the state’s public school system.
If the cut was made solely to the teaching force, the state would be forced to jettison nearly 3,000 teaching positions, according to one proposal before the State Board of Education. Other proposals could spread the reduction across line items, or direct local school systems to find equivalent reductions in their local budget.
For the state’s largest districts, Wake County Public School System and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, it could amount to staggering losses of $17.8 million and $16.6 million, respectively.
Additionally, the budget directive from McCrory’s office comes at a surprising time, school officials say, pointing out the state reported expecting a $425 million surplus this year.
“Why do we have to make cuts when we know we need to fund public education in our state?” said June Atkinson, superintendent of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, in an interview with Policy Watch this week.