NC Lawmakers Are Ignoring the Disrepair in Public Schools

The message amplified on Tuesday by Gov. Roy Cooper and the state Commission on a Sound Basic Education mirrored the court order laid out by a Superior Court Judge; the state must fully implement the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan.

While several school districts are experiencing staff shortages, failing air conditioners, undrinkable water, crumbling buildings and more, legislative leaders have done little to address the chronic neglect and underfunding of North Carolina schools.

  • According to The News & Observer, the state Department of Public Instruction released an alarming report earlier this month, stating that the price to renovate and rebuild North Carolina schools jumped 58% over the last five years to $12.8 billion — underscoring the failure of the Republican-led General Assembly to rightfully invest our state’s public school infrastructure.
  • Currently, lawmakers sit on a $6.5 billion surplus that could fully fund education and give educators a decent wage. Despite the surplus and court order to adequately fund education according to the terms of the Leandro plan, budgets from both legislative chambers focused on corporate tax cuts over public school investments.
  • “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use our state’s resources to truly transform and strengthen our public schools,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “Our state has the resources to live up to our constitutional obligation to our children and now is the time to do it.” 

The Leandro plan shows how we can provide every student with the resources necessary to succeed. And with an abundance of funding, no longer is it money stopping Republicans from fulfilling a constitutional obligation to ensure every child has access to a sound, quality education.

It’s about whether or not legislators leaders are willing to stand up for students, parents and educators or continue to do the bare minimum. 

Bottom Line:

If legislative leaders like Phil Berger, Tim Moore, and others fail to put together a plan that ensures  investments in education as designated within the Leandro plan by October 15, they’ll have to answer the following questions:

  • Why don’t they want our students to have access to quality education for our children? 
  • Why don’t they believe schools should have working air conditioners, drinkable water and free of mold/bug infestations? 
  • Why don’t they believe classrooms need adequate resources

Why don’t they want our educators, bus drivers, nurses, counselors or support staff compensated for their hard work?

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Alanna Joyner

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