Parents shelling out cash to add COVID-19 safety in classrooms while millions in federal funds are unspent
After a year of unimaginable challenges for families across our state, parents are filling the void left by Republican legislators in ensuring their students and educators have the adequate resources for success in the new school year.
In the past few weeks, thousands of Wake County moms and dads have dedicated themselves to providing COVID safety and support within Wake schools from their own pockets, while Republicans in the NCGA continue to sit on millions of unspent dollars in federal funding meant for pandemic relief in schools.
To make matters worse, the recently passed state budgets within both chambers fail to properly fund public schools — leaving bottom of the barrel funding towards schools and wages for educators.
- In both GOP-led budgets, leaders failed to allocate $5 billion in unreserved funds and additional $6.5 billion in tax revenues that are available to meet current needs around the state — such as the $5.6 billion spending plan that would take steps in meeting the unfulfilled Constitutional obligation to provide every student with a sound basic education.
- In terms of raises, Republicans fell short in meeting Gov. Cooper’s proposed raises for NC teachers — choosing to give teachers a 5.5% raise over two years within the House’s budget, and a measly raise of 3% within the Senate.
Despite the abundance of federal relief funding and the state’s $6.5 billion surplus, Republicans chose to cut taxes for big businesses rather than make once-in-a-lifetime investments to ensure every classroom is safe and well-resourced.
There’s never been a better time to invest in students and educators across the state, yet instead of legislators bridging the gap, it’s parents who are funding the health, safety and success of many local schools.
We hope that our Republican state leaders learn a bit or two from parents across the state.