NC Education Spending On The Decline

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In a recent article, WRAL highlights the decades long slide in public education spending in NC and the acceleration of that trend in the last few years. From their story,

WRAL News reviewed budget numbers for the last 30 years and found that the percentage of general fund dedicated to K-12 classrooms has been on a long, slow slide, even as the total dollars for education increased.

In 1984-85, the $1.89 billion authorized for public education accounted for 43.7 percent of the budget. A decade later, the $4.08 billion authorized in the budget was 42 percent of the 1994-95 budget. By 2004-05, the state was spending $6.52 billion on public schools, which accounted for 41.1 percent of the state budget.

The slide has accelerated in recent years because of the national recession, and the $7.9 billion authorized in the 2013-14 budget meant only 37 percent of the general fund was earmarked for public schools. Even with the North Carolina Education Lottery chipping in money for school construction and early childhood education, per-pupil spending has dropped since the lottery started eight years ago.

"As we take all this money out of things that really affect the classroom, it's hard to see how we're going to improve student achievement," said Matt Ellinwood, an education policy analyst with the left-leaning North Carolina Budget & Tax Center.

If North Carolina is going to be great again, we need to invest in public education. Visit aimhighernownc.com to help defend public education.

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