Amid final budget talks, T.R.U.E Report submissions signal much-needed change
Almost four months into the new fiscal year, a compromised state budget may be passed in the coming days. With final negotiations on the horizon, Republican leaders have another opportunity to fully implement the Leandro plan for improving public education into the final state budget.
The historical investments towards public schools would undo the state’s two decades long failure in denying students the opportunity to receive a sound basic education, as promised in our state’s constitution.
- Amid COVID-19 and decades of neglect by the Republican-led NCGA, long-standing unmet needs have continued to pile on – resulting in underpaid stressed employees, bus driver shortages, a lack of classroom resources and sanitary supplies, and crumbling buildings, according to testimonials submitted to the T.R.U.E report.
Recent submissions highlight the impact of underfunded programs, resources and lack of support that many educators and students rely on, especially students with disabilities.
- “It saddens me that my students with disabilities are not provided with adequate supports due to the lack of state funds. NC legislators need to refer to the disability laws. Under the “free appropriate public education (FAPE) law, EVERY child with a disability has the right to an APPROPRIATE public education!” said a public school teacher.
- “I purchase my own supplies yearly and have since around 2010. We haven’t had enough textbooks for my senior English students since 2005 (when they were last adopted in Wake Co). I cover classes 2-3 times a week during my planning because there are no subs,” said a public school teacher.
- “Our classrooms are a mess. There’s mold. There are windows that don’t work. There are rooms that don’t have working AC,” stated a public school teacher. “We have places in our school where students walk over wooden pallets when it rains because of the water puddling on the floor”.
We are all impacted by the Republican-led legislation choosing to ignore investing in our public schools, educators and our children’s futures. Amid final state budget negotiations, it’s time our Republican legislative leaders truly strengthen our public schools by fully funding the Leandro remedial plan, giving educators decent living wages and ensuring equitable access to resources for all school districts. Anything less is unacceptable.