NC Republicans’ refusal to properly fund public schools is leading to a double crisis – and it was preventable
North Carolina schools are facing a double crisis thanks to the failure of state Republicans to fund public education, and pay educators a fair wage.
Due to the NCGOP’s inaction and outright refusal to do what they know needs to be done, schools in the Tar Heel state are facing a major teacher and staff shortage. In addition, more than 800 high-poverty schools have been underfunded and lack the same resources as other schools, according to The News & Observer.
- There are at least 11,297 teacher and staff vacancies in North Carolina schools, according to superintendents from 98 of the state’s 115 school districts, in a survey. The real number is higher because 17 districts didn’t report their shortages.
- The Leandro school funding case was filed in 1994 and involved five poor, rural school districts that needed more funding. In the 28 years since, the problem has spread statewide because of Republican leaders who have refused to increase teacher pay or implement the Leandro plan that would provide billions of dollars to fix the education system.
- North Carolina has $6 billion in unused revenue sitting in a “rainy day fund” that Republicans in the legislature have so far refused to touch in order to fund the Leandro plan, despite being ordered to do so. Instead of paying teachers and improving schools, Republicans have cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy.
Some may think that Republicans are anti-education, but the reality is that they’re anti-public education. When it comes to using education money to fund private and charter schools, the NCGOP will gladly send out its leadership to tout the party’s support for education and what they call “school choice.”
The state Supreme Court listened to arguments in the Leandro case in late August, and the decision of the court regarding the implementation of the plan might not be known for months.
The future of education in North Carolina is now in the hands of seven people.