Local News

Driver's ed funding remains a top concern for Wake County parents, teens

Posted August 17, 2015

— While lawmakers drag their feet on a state budget, the issue of funding driver's education programs in Wake County continues to worry parents and teens.

On Saturday, a popular driver's education provider in Wake County announced classes were suspended - and then took the statement back, adding to the confusion.

"It's not just a threat to our teenagers, it's a threat to everyone driving on our roads," said Tom Benton, Wake County school board vice chair.

Benton said he is frustrated that state lawmakers cannot agree whether to keep the driver's education requirement and $26 million in funding.

"It is a shame that we have parents and students in this kind of situation," he said. "We are seeking every way we can come up with what the solution will be, so that we can provide it."

Tim Lucas, of the North Carolina Rate Bureau, said law makers have not consulted insurers.

"I would hate to think I was on the road with inexperienced operators and they were learning the rules of the road while driving," Lucas said.

For now, teens and their families are forced to learn patience, while others spend more than $400 on instruction with a private driver's ed company.

The Wake County School Board told WRAL News it hopes to clarify the availability of drivers ed, at least in the short term, during its meeting Tuesday night.


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  • Steve Faulkner Aug 18, 2015
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    In what world do you think NC teachers were getting raises five years ago? I seriously think you have your dates wrong.

  • Steven Natalie Perkins Aug 18, 2015
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    If you can afford car insurance (required), you can afford to pay for drivers ed.

    oh and my kids started school 10 years ago, and have ALWAYS had teachers ask for school supplies. In fact for kindergarten in 2005 the kids came home with a list of items needed for the classroom. So no, it did not start in 2010. Nice try, but not true.

  • Chris Hall Aug 18, 2015
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    Somehow until 5-6 years ago this was completely funded, we had teachers assistants, teachers got raises, teachers did not have to ask parents to supply toilet paper and tissues, and taxes were LOWER. What oh what happened in NC since 2010….

  • Roy Hinkley Aug 18, 2015
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    Fro a long time Illinois was footing the bill for driver's education. It wasn't until 2011 that they raised the maximum allowable student fee to $250 (from $50)

  • Paul Donovan Aug 17, 2015
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    I have lived in 5 states and this is the only state I have ever lived in that has the state pay for driver's education for essentially all students. They should do away with this and leave driver's education to the private sector and parents.