Potential budget deal spares teaching assistants

Posted May 27, 2011
Updated May 31, 2011

State budget

— The state Senate updated its 2011-12 budget proposal late Monday, just hours before negotiations were to begin over the bill. The compromise adds about $240 million to education spending to put the Senate's bottom line at $19.68 billion.

By comparison, Gov. Bev Perdue asked for a budget totaling $19.9 billion while the House passed an appropriations bill that added up to $19.4 billion and, most notably, eliminated funds for teaching assistants in grades 1-2.

The Senate compromise appears to restore those cuts, and the senior House appropriations chair said last week that body was prepared to do the same.

Rep. Harold Brubaker, R-Randolph, the chief budget writer in the House, said there's a plan afoot to set aside $260 million to $290 million more for K-12 education in next year's budget than the House spending plan offered earlier this month. The additional money would likely come from shifting funds currently proposed for government building repairs and renovations, public employee retirement contributions and the state's reserve fund, Brubaker said. There would be no additional taxes, he said.

The proposal, however, would have to clear several hurdles for it to become law.

Perdue has said repeatedly that she would veto any final bill that fails to protect all of public education. 

The Senate was to begin debating its proposal Tuesday at noon. WRAL.com will carry that discussion live. By law, a new budget must be approved before the fiscal year ends on June 30.


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  • babbleon May 31, 2011

    However, at the same time funding levels are increased, school districts and teachers need to be held more accountable for their performance. CarZin

    Ok, I can go for that.

    (I do think part of the funding increase should go to a good system of measuring, with EOG tests as ONE piece, and which should allow for teachers who encourage liking to learn / problem solving / critical thinking in addition to rote memorization. That's what makes the US an innovation leader...)

  • babbleon May 31, 2011

    re: what's 'normal' for a 4yo to know: I've gotten to know a lot about this with my special needs son, who is 3.5yo. He is ok academically but struggles socially and with speech. He knows ABCs, 1 - 20, colors and shapes. He learned these through parents and professionals (therapists, care providers and teachers).

    It is certainly possible for most children to know these things by K.

    But we're a privileged family. We can afford for one parent to stay home and to pay for a preschool. A household with income at or below the average, with a single parent or with two full-time jobs, would be challenged to spend the kind of time and $ that we have.

    But this early start helps a LOT in school, and success in school helps a lot in reducing poverty and crime. The government helps ALL of the public by helping kids in challenging economic situations at an early age.

    Keep taxes where they are until unempl hits 9%, then phase them out, and keep early-child Ed!

  • atozca May 31, 2011

    "What is sad is the fact that we as a society ignore the fact that some children do not get their ABC's or numbers until the age of 8 or even 9."

    I have a suggestion to offer. I realize it's sort of radical but anyway here it is. How about the parents doing a bit of educating as soon as their children can talk. By the time my brother and I got to kindergarten not only did we know our ABCs but could read simple words and phrases. My parents made learning a game that we all loved to play.

    You are assuming that if someone had taught them they would know. Truth is that some of these children do not get it until they are older regardless of what is taught. It has also been proven that children who can read at an early age can also struggle later and fall behind. We place way too much value on education in this country and have forgotten the value of the skills that these people do have to offer. Some will never master memorization and regurgitation for a good grade.

  • babbleon May 31, 2011

    Could someone explain it to me again? How does this NC Educational Lottery work? ECU4lyf

    Proceeds from the Ed lottery were supposed to supplement existing funding. It goes to at-risk programs, school construction and a little for college scholarships.

    The problem is that the state was supposed to NOT cut funding for these, and was NOT supposed to use this funding to replace regular state funding. It has been doing so, and this budget would certainly do so, with cuts to Smart Start and More at 4.

    The money from the lottery is less than 8% of the total school budget, it is not a significant and regular source of funding.


  • Common Nonsensical May 31, 2011

    "If you do, then you're not around children very often."

    I am around my god-daughter a great deal. not only could she spell her name, she could count to at least 20 in four languages among other feats of education. This is because her parents were involved. lack of parent involvment is one of the big issues we face as a society. Punishing/blaming the schools and teachers, however, isn't going to fix that problem.

  • WRALblows May 31, 2011

    "Funny, I thought the Democrats were for keeping the poor and uneducated voting for them."

    Ya, those darn liberal intellectuals...oh, wait....The hypocrisy and contradictions have now become unavoidable. Conservatives tripping over each others insults. And what's the result? A Tea Party.

  • WRALblows May 31, 2011

    "...nothing is more disturbing than to have a 5 or 6 year old child who does not know her ABC's, her numbers 1-20, much less how to spell her own name."

    That's one absurd comment. I have a 4 year old. I am constantly around his friends who are 5 years old. I doubt any two of them can count to 20 or spell their name. I see no national tragedy in a 5 year old who can't spell their name until a few months into kindergarten. If you do, then you're not around children very often.

  • WRALblows May 31, 2011

    "If I read it right, they're going to hand out $130M as 'small business tax relief'... Why not drop that $130M expense?"

    Because $130 million to business is not welfare in Republican eyes. Companies get government assistance, only people get welfare. So much for survival of the fittest in the "free market" championed by the right.

  • Common Nonsensical May 31, 2011

    "Funny, I thought the Democrats were for keeping the poor and uneducated voting for them."

    And you would be wrong.

    "It would seem that if people were uneducated, then they couldn't become the rich fat cats that support the Republicans."

    Which explains all the rich doners to the Democratic party how?

    "It would seem that those who would prefer individuals to think in a collective manner would prefer that the masses be uneducated. Hmmmm... now what type of group likes everyone to think with one unified thought? I wonder what party that group likes to support?"

    Sounds like republicans to me. you know teh ones...the party that votes in lock step 98% of the time and punishes independant voices within their ranks?

  • ykm May 31, 2011

    I would advise the legislature to not write checks ya can't cash. Revenue may fall short of projections again this budget session. I believe it will, and mid budget year reductions will not go over well. We are one slip in the economy away from another billion dollar shortage.