A Resource Page for May 16th and Beyond
North Carolina teachers, parents, and community members from across the state gathered in Raleigh on May 16th to demand the North Carolina General Assembly act to provide children with the resources they need to learn and thrive.
This day, and the work leading up to it and after it, is about investing in schools our children deserve before our state cuts taxes again for corporations and wealthy taxpayers.
MAY 16 BY THE NUMBERS
BREAKING DOWN OUR EDUCATION BUDGET
Here are a few key points to keep in mind in the discussion of North Carolina’s education budget.
REMEMBER HOW WE GOT HERE: Tax cuts have been prioritized over investments in our children and their education
- Since 2013, our lawmakers have cut taxes in a way that primarily have benefited the wealthy and profitable corporations.
- Another round of tax cuts is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2019 that will reduce state revenue by $900 million each year.
- NC will have $3.5 billion less in revenue to invest in education and supports that improve educational outcomes.
RECOGNIZE WHAT MATTERS FOR CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS
Paying teachers a competitive salary…
- Despite moderate pay increases in recent years, NC teacher pay is no closer to the national average than it was seven years ago
- According to NEA estimates for FY 17-18, average teacher pay remains $9,622 below the national average
On an inflation-adjusted basis, NC average teacher salary has fallen by 5.6% since FY 08-09
- Pay increases have ignored our most-experienced teachers. Approximately 3,742 teachers (those on steps 31 and higher) have seen their state-supported salaries dip in inflation-adjusted terms.
- The most important metric is how NC teacher salaries compare to other college graduates in the state. During 2011-2015, NC offered 48th-least competitive teacher wages.
Providing each child with the resources to learn in the classroom..
- Per-pupil state funding is down 7% from pre-recession levels (2008-09) when adjusted for inflation
- NC’s per-pupil spending is approximately $2,406, or 25%, below the national average. Prior to the Recession, our per-student spending trailed the national average by 18%.
- Despite a growing economy, NC is devoting a diminishing share of resources towards public schools.
And the resources to live in a thriving community.
- The classroom environment is important but increasingly researchers have noted the importance of the schools and surrounding community as essential to children’s educational outcomes.
- Investments in early childhood, affordable housing, and access to health care and food is essential to children’s educational success. It’s also critical to make sure revenue is available to support these investments alongside public education.
- Public schools also have an important role to play in supporting the broader community and economic well-being.
REINVEST IN WHAT ONCE MADE OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM GREAT
Stop the cuts
- Our schools are having to make due with fewer teachers, support personnel, TAs, textbooks, supplies, technology, and professional development. Some of the most severe cuts have been to teacher assistants.
Funding for Textbooks is down 45% from peak levels (09-10)
Funding for Supplies & Materials is down 55% from peak levels (09-10)
Funding for Technology is down 59% from peal levels (09-10)
Funding for Textbooks, Supplies, and Technology are down 51% from peak levels (09-10)
NC schools have 5.3% fewer teachers per student compared to pre-Recession levels
Recognize the importance of PUBLIC in North Carolina’s public school system.
- Charter schools create added pressures on school district budgets. Duke University research indicates charter schools increase per-student costs by $500-700 in Durham County. Additionally, charter enrollment contributes to the racial segregation of our schools.
- Like charters, voucher schools exacerbate districts’ financial pressures and weaken society’s shared commitment towards a strong public school system that benefits all students. Funding for voucher programs is set to reach nearly $160 million by FY 2027-28.
- School performance grades based almost entirely on achievement stigmatize schools that serve a high proportion of students from low-income families.
- Career Status affords educators protection from arbitrary dismissals. Career status was eliminated for those teachers who did not have it prior to August 1, 2013, and those that had career status prior to August 2013 but who moved to a new school district.
- Teachers used to receive a salary supplement of 10% for earning a relevant master’s degree. This policy was repealed for all master’s degrees started after August 1, 2013.
- Prior to the 14-15 school year, teachers received longevity pay of 1.5% at 10 years of service, 2.25% at 15 years of service, 3.25% at 20 years of service, and 4.5% at 25 years of service.
- New teachers after January 1, 2021, will no longer receive retirement plans.
- The NCGA’s weakening of NC’s public school system has coincided with plummeting student interest in entering the teaching profession.
- Enrollment in UNC Education programs has plummeted.
HOW TO INVEST IN EDUCATION
Stopping the scheduled rate cuts in January 2019 would provide North Carolina legislators with $900 million in revenue to:
- Bring textbook funding to pre-Recession levels AND;
- Bring technology investments to pre-Recession levels AND;
- Bring teacher assistant levels to pre-Recession levels AND;
- Bring classroom materials and supplies to pre-Recession levels AND;
- Bring the number of state-supported teacher positions to pre-Recession levels.
With still more money to make investments in children’s health and nutritional needs and community development.
Revisiting all the tax cuts that have been made since 2013 would make $3.5 billion available and allow North Carolina legislators to reach the national average in per-pupil spending ($3.7 billion) so that North Carolina children’s education isn’t put in jeopardy.
Check out these additional resources on the national movement to fund education:
- Lawmakers will trot out these talking points at tomorrow’s teacher rally — here are the facts
- Teacher strikes roil states with tax limits
- State Tax Cuts: A Key Factor in AZ, OK Teacher Pay Crisis
- Many states face suits over K-12 education funding
- Teacher Protests and Strikes are winning historic tax hikes
- Could North Carolina’s teachers be next to strike? Here’s the mess they’re in.
- Teacher Pay Is So Low in Some U.S. School Districts That They’re Recruiting Overseas
- Where Teacher Salaries Most Lag Behind Private Sector
- Which states might experience the next wave of teacher strikes?
- Public Servants Are Losing Their Foothold in the Middle Class
- Teachers Strike: Workplace Fairness, Educational Equity, and Public Justice