STATEMENT BY STATE SUPERINTENDENT JUNE ATKINSON REGARDING GOVERNOR'S BUDGET
Governor McCrory faced many economic challenges in developing a budget in the political and economic climate today. The needs of public education are great and well documented, including the need for increased teacher pay and digital and technology tools for teachers and students not to mention the need for textbooks, supplies and basic support for school operations to enable teachers to focus on their most important task – instruction.
In the budget presented today, the Governor tried to focus resources on schools, but had to make very difficult decisions. You can see this, for example, in the elimination of funding for teacher assistants in second and third grade classrooms versus funding for teachers. I know the significance of both and I wish he did not have to face such choices.
There are some positives in this budget, including a 1 percent start on addressing teacher pay, but its overall impact will be less funding for public schools and our teacher salary issue will remain a problem. This is unfortunate. On teacher salaries alone, North Carolina’s competitive edge is gone and we are losing quality teachers every day because neighbor states offer better pay. This puts us at a significant disadvantage as we work to prepare students for a successful life in a very competitive world.
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.