Proposed cuts frustrate school officials, students, Dems

Posted May 11, 2011

State budget
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— Educators, students and Democratic lawmakers expressed outrage Wednesday about Senate Republicans' proposal to make deeper cuts to state education spending than those approved last week in the House.

The spending targets set by the Senate include $40 million less for education than the House budget. That includes another $106 million from the state's public schools and $21 million from community colleges, while the University of North Carolina system would gain about $87 million.

"This is devastating for our state," said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth.

A member of the Senate Education Committee, Garrou said Democrats are saddened, frustrated and discouraged by what they're seeing.

"We're responsible for the main part of the (budget) meal, and you've given us baloney," she said. "Folks with children in schools – all levels – should be upset by it."

Education spending accounts for more than half of the state budget, and estimates of job losses because of the cuts range from 18,000 to 30,000.

Wake Technical Community College President Stephen Scott said he felt "anger, shock (and) surprise" when he learned of the proposed Senate cuts.

Scott said Wake Tech had budgeted for a 10 percent cut based on the House plan, including slashing courses and laying off instructors. Under the Senate plan, the school would have to cut by 12 percent, he said.

Education Funding Proposed cuts frustrate school officials, students, Dems

Republican lawmakers said they're acting responsibly.

"If you don't have the money, you have to make the cuts somewhere. Every businessman I know faces that. Every head of household faces that," said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph.

Tillman, who is co-chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said people need to be patient.

"When this economy picks up and there's availability, you're going to see some innovative, good things done for education," he said.

Wake Tech student James Brooks said he just wants the chance to take his classes and show he can be successful. He has been unable to sign up for classes this summer because they are all overcapacity.

About 3,000 students are on waiting lists this summer at Wake Tech, Scott said. A combined 10,000 students were on waiting lists in the fall and spring semesters, he said.

"It's a little disappointing. I'd like to finish as soon as possible," Brooks said.


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  • MakoII May 12, 2011

    Plenty Coups,

    To be fair, that probably isn't due to Unions or the lack of them as a cause, but more as an effect.

    Those states are historically more ahead in terms of industrialization and hence more educations to feed those industries, and hence more likely to have unionized.

    The southern and more agrarian states did not have such industries, less need for education, and less chance to unionize.

    So this stems from the economy and historical precedent. But that's all changed today, and education in former agrarian states needs to come up to a 21st century standard.

    A point I know you agree well on.

  • Plenty Coups May 12, 2011

    Thimk-"Take a look at test scores in these northern unionized school systems:
    Baltimore Philadelphia Washington, DC Chicago Detroit Newark"

    That's supposed to be an argument? Selecting certain cities with high poverty rates and comparing them to entire states? The data is clear. The NAEP rips apart conservative arguments that unions are bad. EVERY non-union state is at the bottom of the list. EVERY one!

  • MakoII May 12, 2011


    All those states you mentioned beat NC in their SAT and ACT scores.

    You should look at the "stats" yourself sometime.

  • Bob3425 May 12, 2011

    Maybe if they stop the busing and kids go to local school they might save some money, what about illegal that attend?

  • Bob3425 May 12, 2011

    "University of North Carolina system would gain about $87 million." this is the first palace to cut, if the university can cover it cost let them close, K - 12 is what the state need to provided, it the building boxs for all that comes later. College degrees can be paid with student loans (low cost) but not with taxpayer funds.

  • WHEEL May 12, 2011

    Who says County superintendents have to make 200K +, and every school needs a high priced asst. principal. Close down that multi-storied office in Raleigh whose occupants cannot design a test properly. Get rid of the dead wood teachers and non teachers and then come crying about money.

  • cside May 12, 2011

    @mep Who is going to WANT to come to North Carolina with the 46th worst funded education system in the country? No need to raise taxes... just keep the 1 cent tax that we all have been dealing with just fine. NO ONE was complaining about that tax until all this budget stuff came up. Removing that small tax removed $800 million in revenue. It won't solve all our problems, but will help keep some jobs. And I don't hear any businesses complaining about the tax - - I just don't understand the math that letting the tax expire, having 20,000 people loose their job... how is that good for our economy and local businesses? People will be moving OUT of NC for better education, to find jobs, and to states that value and protect their air and water quality.

  • Thimk May 12, 2011

    Hey Plenty Coups,

    Like stats?

    Take a look at test scores in these northern unionized school systems:

    Washington, DC

  • redstarlean May 12, 2011

    Education was never important to the bible thumpers, Ignorance is their king

  • jaydosse May 12, 2011

    "Gee, we've been fustrated with our budgets for 3 years since the economy tanked and we were laid off. pared down our lives to painful levels, join the club and live with it Folks!!" chevybelair57sd


    At last , someone with the experience to realize what needs to be done currently, to solve the problem on an individual level.