State News

NC schools chief testifies to Congress on cuts

Posted July 25, 2012

N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson

— North Carolina's elected public schools superintendent was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to describe the effect on education if Congress fails to restructure broad budget cuts coming at the end of the year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson testified to a Senate subcommittee with a Texas school superintendent and others.

The so-called sequestration spending cuts were agreed to last summer by congressional Republican leaders and President Barack Obama. Congress is scrambling to come up with a way to avoid automatic cuts in domestic and military programs of $1 trillion over a decade.

Atkinson says 16 percent of North Carolina's education budget comes from federal funding. She says the cuts would hurt reform efforts in five programs, affecting more than 200,000 students and potentially costing 600 jobs.

"Education is but a tiny fraction of the federal budget but with enormously high impact on our nation’s future," Atkinson said. "Sequestration was not caused by the failure of our teachers or our students, yet it is they who will suffer the most if sequestration does go into effect. Students and educators are not to blame for our nation’s fiscal problems, and they deserve better.”

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  • rocket Jul 26, 2012

    "Students and educators are not to blame for our nation’s fiscal problems, and they deserve better.”

    I am not to blame either so why do I deserve to have my money stolen from me by the federal government so they can give it to students and educators? This is a state and local issue. The feds have no business using tax payer dollars for this.

  • Krimson Jul 26, 2012

    I see the Tedesco Crowd is all here!

  • Plenty Coups Jul 26, 2012

    "Public education in the US has become a laughable disaster,"

    And you can prove this or are you just parroting conservative talking points aimed at privatizing education?

    " like any and everything else under government employee micromanagement. Just wait until those friendly professionals at the DMV are running your health plan! "

    Garbage. Government does a lot better at some things than the private sector. The private sector does better at some things. Typically, the government steps in when the common good of everybody is at stake and when profit isn't the only goal; like the military, roads, schools, care for elderly, police etc.

  • ThatGuyYetAgain Jul 25, 2012

    NC's chief lobbyist for the education industry (remember when lobbyists were evil? Of course you don't!) pulls all the tired old strings. Hey, it's just a pittance we ask for...and at the same time if we don't get our cut, er, that is, our pittance, it's Armageddon for (cue the choir of angels) Our Children. PBS has been doing essentially this schtick successfully for years and years.

    Public education in the US has become a laughable disaster, an epic failure, like any and everything else under government employee micromanagement. Just wait until those friendly professionals at the DMV are running your health plan!

    But really, do you expect all those government employees to just walk away from their mortgages, car payments, retirement plans, etc. and say "yup, that's me, I'm useless and a complete drain on society?" Of course not. They hire lobbyists instead, to try to keep the cash cow giving as long as possible.

  • mep Jul 25, 2012

    Anytime someone proposes "cuts".... someone else has to say the cuts would mean "the end of the world as we know it". It is usually someone directly effected by said cuts. America is $16 trillion dollars in debt, and spends over a trillion dollars each year it does not have.... we had better learn how to live with less... or else.

  • SaveEnergyMan Jul 25, 2012

    "Education is a responsibility of the State and not Fed. Congress (both parties) made a deal because they would not do their jobs, remember this in November. We need people in Congress that will get the job done. - Bob3425"

    Bob is right. All Congress does is take our money, then hold it hostage until the local schools do what they want - after taking their hefty cut for administration. Let the states and communities run schools and leave the feds out.

  • jdupree Jul 25, 2012

    I JUST GOT BACK FROM WASHINGTON AND WHEN YOU SEE THE US DEPT OF EDUCATION, YOU KNOW WHERE THE MONEY WENT. IT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST BUILDINGS IN WASHINGTON AND I AM SURE THEY DO VERY LITTLE TO HELP EDUCATION! IT SHOULD BE ELIMINATED AND THE MONEY SENT BACK TO THE STATES FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM!

  • aspenstreet1717 Jul 25, 2012

    When they clear out the administrators I'll agree to more $

  • mfarmer1 Jul 25, 2012

    >> when it ask for dependents i put 0 so im tax the max

    At the end of the year any excess tax for your income it is refunded back to you. So whats your point?

    It is hard for government to stay within budget, and some of it goes to waste. Tighten the belt just like any business.

  • Relic Jul 25, 2012

    Cry me a river...

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