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May 14 marked the beginning of the 2014 short session for the North Carolina General Assembly. During this short session, lawmakers will update and adjust the state budget that will support public schools, as well as many other government functions, in the coming year.

The decisions legislators will make this summer will be critical to the future of our students and the state, particularly since public schools currently face the following budget challenges:

  • Thanks to previous rounds of budget cuts, there are fewer adults in North Carolina's public schools than there were seven years ago, yet we have 48,000 more students.
  • The amount of textbook funding per student went from $68 per student in 2008-09 to $15 per student in 13-14. That is a 78% reduction.
  • Dollars for instructional supplies were cut by more than half, from $59 per student in 2008-09 to $29 per student in 2013-14.
  • Our state currently ranks 46th in the nation for teacher pay and we ranked the very last in the nation for the 10 year percent change in average salary from 2001-02 to 2011-12.
  • The 2013-15 budget also eliminated the pay bump for teachers with master's degrees (whose positions do not require it) starting in 2014-15.
  • And finally, a provision in the state budget created a voucher program to provide low-income students with taxpayer dollars to help pay for their tuition at private schools. If nothing changes, the provision will take up to $10 million from the Public School Fund in the coming year to fund private schools with no accountability to the state or to parents.

Given these and many other significant issues, it's essential for educators, parents and community members to stay current on the latest budget news from Raleigh. This website will house all things related to the Public Schools' budget. Please visit often as materials will be added periodically.

Graduating students college and career ready is critical to protecting and securing North Carolina's economic future. Public schools can produce a workforce to sustain the state, but first we need the state to sustain our public schools. Stay informed. Stay involved. It's critical that we invest in the future and fund our public schools.