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Perdue's education spending raises red flags for some

Posted April 27, 2010
Updated April 28, 2010

State leaders and education advocates are raising a red flag when it comes to Gov. Bev Perdue's 2010-11 budget proposal, which calls for a 1.5 percent salary step increase for teachers.

"It's clear that we don't pay teachers enough," Sen. Richard Stevens, R-Wake, said. "Having said that, this might not be the year, in my opinion, to do additional pay."

Perdue's education spending raises red flags for some Perdue's education spending raises red flags for some

They say that, although they believe teachers need to be paid more, this year might not be the right time, because the governor is also calling for $135 million in educational discretionary cuts.

That's in addition to $80 million in cuts already approved last year by the General Assembly.

The North Carolina Association of Educators projects the proposed cuts, coupled with a salary increase, could put the jobs of approximately 2,200 teachers and more than 1,000 teaching assistants in jeopardy.

The group wants to take the $61 million needed to fund the teacher raises, as well as another $62.5 million to pay back last year's employee furloughs, and put the amount toward covering a most of the $135 million in discretionary cuts.

Perdue has said she believes local school systems should better utilize federal funding to protect teaching jobs.

To recruit and retain good teachers, she wants to ensure that salaries don't fall further behind the national average of $48,600. Last year, North Carolina ranked 25th in the nation; it dropped to 31st this year.

"Even bigger than that, we do want all of our public school employees to remain employed," North Carolina Association of Educators President Sheri Strickland said.

Strickland said the group is holding out hope that lawmakers will increase pay and still be able to reduce the amount of discretionary cuts. After speaking with lawmakers, though, the group acknowledges that's unlikely.

"Our first order of business is keeping classroom sizes at a reasonable level, keep as many of the teachers in the classrooms as possible," Strickland said.

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  • jnc67 Apr 29, 2010

    Enough with the lottery! When we agreed to allow the lottery to pay for education, the money the state was paying for education went elsewhere. The lottery money is NOT in ADDITION to state funding, it is IN PLACE of state funding. It really doesn't matter where it is coming from; what matters is how we are going to build a system on the money we have!

  • ladyblue Apr 28, 2010

    I guess all thqt sneaking and hiding behind doors in the dead of night to pass a lottery to fix education didn't do too much good did it.........

  • ladyblue Apr 28, 2010

    Now I am really stumped. NC wants to raise teachers salaries and then turn around and lay them off. On second thought with what's been running NC for the last couple decades it makes perfect sense in their way of thinking.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 28, 2010

    You said your parents taught you everything you need to be successful and so you did not need teachers per longtermwakeresident

    -------------------

    Apparently they don't teach you comprehension in Wake County because I said no such thing.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 28, 2010

    longtermwakeresident,

    Hello HopeForABetterWorld...lol!

  • Remy Apr 28, 2010

    Affirmitvie, you really need to take a break, Name calling and such are completely inappropriate on this forum. You have been called out over and over today and you just will not give it a rest!

    You said your parents taught you everything you need to be successful and so you did not need teachers. Where were you when your parents were teaching diplomacy?

  • affirmativediversity Apr 28, 2010

    oh, on that previous post I purposely did not list the hard working cafeteria folks, maintenance or bus drivers because I know they too are always scrutinized for cuts.

  • affirmativediversity Apr 28, 2010

    There are approximately 800 employees working for the Department of Education in RALEIGH alone. Those are ALL Admin positions...ALL OF THEM...

    Now add the ADMIN position in each of the 100 Counties Board of Ed...all the Superintendents (I believe there are 118 in NC...because some cities have their own BofE)...then the Assistant Superintendents...Then the Directors of the various Departments...and so on and so on...

    Being conservative in an estimate their would have to be a minimum of another 800 (that would only allow for a staff of 80 per county)...

    Then add on the Principals and Vice Principals for every school in every county...then add the Admin Assistants, Counsellors, Tech Support, Audio Video Specialists

    Well it kinda makes a person wonder why "teacher cuts" are necessary at all?

  • affirmativediversity Apr 28, 2010

    cb100,

    The combination of lottery money and judicial fines is well into the hundreds of millions every year.
    This is money specifically and constitutionally earmarked solely for education.

    Just think about it...how long have we had the lottery. Four/Five years...that's essentially a completely new source of hundreds of millions every year ABSORBED like its nothing by the DEMOCRATS in Raleigh.

    You are 100% correct. We need to demand a FULL accounting...start with what was the DPI budget prior to the lottery and what is it now...then look at WHAT INCREASED AND WHAT EXPANDED. (I can tell you one thing that didn't increase and that is number of teachers or direct student staff, ie teacher's aides).

    Hmmmmm???????

  • cb100 Apr 28, 2010

    We need to have an accounting posted to the internet. The ncps has received $1.469 billion dollars from the Lottery...This I understand to be designated for "New Schools", but they also receive $50 - 65 Million dollars a year from penal fines from the NC courts, along with the millions they collect in taxes every year. There are other revenues that go to the school, but lets just add a few. 50 + 112 = $162 Million..add property taxes and then some and why is the budget short????

    We need full accounting now!

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