The T.R.U.E Report is out. North Carolinians Deliver the Facts on Issues Impacting Our Schools
For too long, the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly has underfunded North Carolina’s schools, leaving teachers and staff left to bear the burden. Yesterday, Progress NC Action released their findings from the True Reporting of Underfunded Education (T.R.U.E.) Portal to shed light on the impact of chronic neglect and underfunding of North Carolina schools.
Between September 29 to October 29, 2021, the T.R.U.E Report Portal received 592 cited reports from parents, educators, and concerned citizens on the challenges facing our cash-strapped schools. Every story submitted paints a unique, yet troubling picture of the true reality of what many of our schools face.
- “Our classrooms are a mess. There’s mold. There are windows that don’t work. There are rooms that don’t have working AC,” an educator from Durham County submitted. “We have places in our school where students walk over wooden pallets when it rains because of the water puddling on the floor”.
- “I arrived to Raleigh over 20 years a go. At that time I was not a parent, but I remember reading that the teachers in NC where amongst the best paid in the nation, and that translated into excellent public education. Fast forward 20 years, now a parent, I see public education completely decimated, lack of teachers and staff because they are under paid, all in favor of private and charter schools,” a parent from Wake County submitted.
- “Buildings are falling apart, but we make do with what we have. One of the buildings on my campus is currently condemned. We went one whole year with broken AC in the gym area and our AC is still messed up (our building is over 50 years old),” an English teacher from Wake County submitted.
- “Grandchildren and other students have not always had adequate supplies unless teacher paid for them herself. And there is no excuse for mold in any public school! Please fund Leandro to bring things up to at least adequate!” a grandparent from Buncombe County submitted.
- “I am a teacher assistant. In my county we have been pulled to be in classrooms, give medicine,work wherever needed with low pay. Our kindergarten classroom has @ 25 students in each one. Our classrooms and restrooms are filthy and our buildings are old. We deserve better. Teachers are starting to walk out of classrooms,” a teacher assistant from Robeson County submitted.
- “I witnessed my wife, a teacher struggle with low pay and all the short comings an under funded education system in NC offers for 25 years. It took her health and undermined her profession and will to teach. NC lost a great teacher and mentor to other teachers and students,” a parent from Wake County submitted. “The short sightedness of backward Republican policies and funding has moved this state backwards from never advancing beyond Mediocre education for millions of students”.
The stories collected from North Carolinians across the state makes it abundantly clear that our schools desperately need more funding. Yet, state Republican leaders continue to manufacture outrage with hateful rhetoric to distract us from their failure in ensuring our students and educators receive the educational opportunities that they deserve.
“The repeated failure by the state is a constitutional violation that has to be remedied,” State Superior Court Judge David Lee stated at today’s court hearing.
Just recently, Senate Democrats and education advocates called out the state’s Republican leadership for its failure to comply with Judge Lee’s order in fully funding the Leandro school improvement plan.
“We continue to deny and delay our school children a chance to receive a sound basic education, a missed opportunity that has been going on now for more than two decades and has denied a generation of our school children that chance already,” stated Senator Jay Chaudhuri.
“North Carolina is in a strong financial position to meet these obligations and to perhaps do even more to provide funding that will ensure a sound basic education for every child, especially those that are left behind, low-income and minority children,” State Senator Gladys Robinson said.
Now, more than ever, equitably and adequately funding our public schools as outlined in the Leandro Remedial Plan should go without question. With the final weeks of budget negotiations coming, Republican leaders have the opportunity to act responsibly and pass a budget that fully funds the court-ordered education plan.
Ultimately, the true fact is that our schools are underfunded and need resources. Our educators are overworked, underpaid and short-staffed while giving our students the best education possible under challenging circumstances.
Parents, grandparents, educators and concerned North Carolinians across the state have spoken; it’s time for our lawmakers to listen to their stories and rightfully invest in our children, our students, and North Carolina’s future.