We work with legislators, policymakers, and community leaders to secure adequate and equitable state funding for public schools, and we advocate for necessary increases in funding for effective programs that serve at-risk or underserved students living with low incomes.

We also fight efforts to dismantle and privatize public education through the diversion of state funds for public schools to unproven, unregulated charter schools or to private schools through tax credits or vouchers.

Class-Size Chaos

The NCGA’s 2016 budget included a provision mandating a reduction in grade K-3 class sizes. Unfortunately, the NCGA failed to provide the funding necessary to meet the new class-size limits.

  • School districts have been left with no money for teachers of subjects like art, music, P.E., STEM, drama, and world languages. Districts will be forced to eliminate these vital courses and/or increase class sizes in grades 4-12, where the state places no limits on allowable class sizes.
  • Unless there is a resolution, school districts across the state will be making layoff and reassignment decisions as early as March 2018.
  • The mandate provided neither time nor funding for school systems to create the physical space to accommodate the additional classrooms these smaller classes will need. And students are already seeing harmful effects as districts are moving towards meeting the new class-size requirements. Some have lost daily special classes, leaving teachers or parent volunteers to fill the gap on “off” days.
  • Without action from the NCGA, the problem will only get worse next year as schools convert specialized instructional rooms into K-3 classrooms. Some students may even be moved to different schools due to the reduction of capacity at their current schools. None of this is good for our students.

Additional Resources

Public Schools First NC
Save Our Schools NC
MomsRising NC

North Carolinians Suit Against the State Over Unconstitutional Voucher Program

In late 2013, the North Carolina Association of Educators and the NC Justice Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of 25 plaintiffs challenging the recently enacted school voucher law. The lawsuit asserted that school vouchers, formally known as the Opportunity Scholarship program, re a clear violation of the of the state’s constitutional mandate that public funds be used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools.

In this video series, families and advocates from across North Carolina explain why public schools are vital — and why voucher-funded schools won’t serve everyone.

  • Brian and Katherine Fitzsimmons’ son Liam, who has autism, was able to benefit from Wake County Public Schools early intervention programs at the age of three.
  • Rev. T. Anthony Spearman is the pastor at the Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church in Hickory, where he is also a member of the Board of Education for the local public schools.
  • Rev. Arnetta Beverly of Greensboro explains why public schools are so valuable and why vouchers for unaccountable private schools threaten to re-segregate schools and undermine education for our state’s children.

Additional Resources