With Textbook Funding Slashed, Students Forced To Share Textbooks
The Asheville Citizen Times has a story today about the severe textbook shortage faced by many schools in North Carolina after politicians in Raleigh slashed funding for textbooks. From their story,
Many Buncombe County students returning to class next week will share textbooks. Others will be using books more than 10 years old as the school system continues to deal with a sharp drop in money for new textbooks that began during the recession.
“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,” Owen High Principal Meg Turner said.
State funding for textbooks has dropped since 2009-10 from more than $111 million or about $76 per student to $23.3 million this year or $15.37 per student, according to Eric Moore, with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
For Buncombe County Schools, funding dropped from around $1.7 million in 2008-09 to around $368,000 in the most recent school year. That’s about $14.26 per student.
State officials say the average cost of a textbook is around $60. High school textbooks can cost around $100, Turner said.
Rather than buying a book for each student, Owen High has been purchasing classroom sets of books that are used by multiple students and remain in the classroom.
“So you might have a set of 30 books to keep in the classroom and the teachers would use those and kids couldn’t take them home,” Turner said.