Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seriously?


Cartoon by http://www.flickr.com/photos/coreydahl/

I got this in my email today. More cuts and less pay.

Wow...I think I am going to be sick. We are already drowning.

Deep budget cuts proposed in the N.C. House Appropriations Education Subcommittee will greatly harm public education in this state!!! Below is a news release from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction with comments from the N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Chairman of the N.C. State Board of Education opposing these suggested cuts. Public school employees and public school parents are urged to contact their legislators! Spread the word!


Terri Hedrick
Public Information Officer

have received this last night, so this is a resend. I apologize if you
receive this twice. Thanks, Vanessa Jeter

News editors: Please see the following news release from the NC State
Board of Education and NC Department of Public Instruction. If you need
to schedule interviews or need additional information on this, please
reply to this email or contact the NC DPI Communications office at 919-
807- 3469 (Vanessa Jeter); or 919- 807- 3475 (Lynda Fuller). Additional
budget- related information resources also are online at
www.ncpublicschools.org under the 2011- 13 Biennial Budget link.


For immediate release
April 12, 2011
Subcommittee Education Budget would Cut Public Schools, Turn Back
Progress
Deep public schools cuts totaling nearly $1 billion announced today as
part of the House Appropriations Education Subcommittee*s budget would
push the state*s public schools backward and closer to the bottom of
the nation in per pupil funding, according to State Board of Education
Chairman Bill Harrison and State Superintendent June Atkinson.
Harrison said that the State Board of Education had expected cuts
during this very difficult fiscal time, but that they had held out hope
that the cuts would not move the state backward.
*This budget would push our schools to a level of very bare- bones
opportunities for students and for educational innovation,* Harrison
said. *I am concerned for local superintendents who will have to find
ways to meet students* educational needs with fewer school- based
staff, without appropriate diagnostic tools for students and with limits
regarding where they can make cuts to meet the state*s $305 million
*discretionary* cut that local schools are already required to
make.*
The 8.8 percent cut to public schools is in addition to the existing
$305 million discretionary cut built into the recurring budget.
Together, these cuts would total a 13.28 percent or a nearly $1 billion
cut for public schools in 2011- 12. Because of limits to what school
districts are allowed to cut by the General Assembly under proposed
special provisions, this leaves districts with few choices about where
to make cuts to reach their spending reduction targets. This is the
third consecutive year of public school budget cuts although student
enrollment continues to grow.
As anticipated, the budget presented today would continue larger class
sizes in grades 4- 12; would cut personnel who support students and
teachers; would end teacher assistants in second and third grades; and
would trim assistant principals by one- fifth.
The budget also would eliminate funds for student diagnostics, a key
tool for teachers to address student- learning problems as soon as they
arise. The proposed budget would move the successful More at Four
education program for disadvantaged 4- year- olds from the education
arena to the Department of Health and Human Services. Transportation
funds, already short by nearly $18 million because of increasing fuel
prices, would take an additional $20 million hit. The discretionary
reduction would be increased by nearly $42 million in 2011- 12 and
increased again by $106 million in 2012- 13.
*This budget positions North Carolina schools to operate in only the
most limited fashion,* said State Superintendent June Atkinson.
*Taken together, all of these cuts would severely limit what local
schools will be able to offer to students and will jeopardize more than
25 years of progress in our state.*
The budget also includes a 25.58 percent cut to the NC Department of
Public Instruction, just as the Department has added significant duties
and responsibilities including management of the state*s competitive
Race to the Top federal grant, intervening in 213 low performing schools
and 12 school districts, managing the residential schools for the blind
and deaf that were once managed by the NC Department of Health and Human
Services, and providing support and oversight to charter public schools,
a group that is expected to grow significantly in coming years. The cuts
would completely eliminate the Teacher Academy and the NC Center for the
Advancement of Teaching. Cuts of this magnitude would alter the services
provided by NCDPI to local school districts, forcing districts to assume
some of these duties themselves.
Harrison, who served for 18 years as a local school superintendent in
North Carolina before becoming State Board of Education Chairman, said
that his districts had depended on many of the services provided by
NCDPI, including teacher licensure, school business and information
technology support and curriculum development. *But once I came to
Raleigh and saw first- hand the complexities of running a statewide
system of public schools, I recognized how important the services of the
Department of Public Instruction were to small and medium- sized school
districts in our state.*
Currently, North Carolina ranks 46th in per pupil funding for public
schools and 45th in teacher pay. The two are closely linked because
teacher pay is a large percentage of the cost of running public schools.
Student performance, in fact, outpaces funding rankings for North
Carolina schools. North Carolina ranks 37th in SAT scores; 12th in ACT
scores; and 12th in fourth grade mathematics, 31st in 4th grade reading,
26th in 8th grade math, 38th in 8th grade reading, all according to the
National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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