State News

Teachers lobby for money as Perdue calls for new highway fund

Posted May 24, 2010

— Gov. Beverly Perdue pushed Monday for increased funding for state highway projects, but North Carolina education leaders said public schools should be first in line for more money.

Perdue's budget proposal called for cutting $314.8 million in public school spending during the 2010-11 school year to help close a $788 million deficit. The Senate last week approved a budget that would cut K-12 spending by $219.3 million.

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Education officials said school districts cannot absorb more cuts without laying off personnel.

"We need our education leaders in our schools, not in our unemployment lines," said Sheri Strickland, executive director of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said North Carolina schools "face a cliff" in funding when budget cuts are combined with the loss of federal economic stimulus funds next year.

"Pardon our potholes in our roads, but our first priority is funding our schools," Atkinson said. "We have to live with our potholes until we have better times."

Perdue, however, was backing more funding for road projects Monday . She joined several mayors and state Board of Transportation members at a news conference to urge lawmakers to approve the North Carolina Mobility Fund, which she proposed in her budget last month.

The effort would raise money in part from a 25 percent increase in the cost of vehicle registrations and higher taxes on car sales to fund projects that would ease congestion statewide but are hard to finance under the current road-funding formula. New Interstate 85 bridges over the Yadkin River would be one such project, she said.

"Transportation is really critical," the governor said, noting the state's economy relies on free-moving traffic.

The Senate didn't put the Mobility Fund idea in its budget proposal, but Perdue said she was hopeful it would be considered during this year's session.

"Nothing is over until it's over. That's one of the good things and one of the bad things about the legislative process here in North Carolina and in Washington," she said.

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  • Ms.Sonshine May 25, 2010

    First of all I learn that teachers are to blame, I mean we ARE the reason Perdue got elected. WE make up the total voting population obviously, HEY I AM AN NCAE memeber and I DID NOT VOTE FOR HER!

    Then I learn a great way to fix the problem: "If parents want more teachers, better schools etc, and the money isn't available, letting them -- the users of the system -- make up the difference is a good place to start." Well HELLO, YOU ARE A USER OF THE SYSTEM! You had to be to get where you are!

    I get so frustrated because anything I DO as a teacher is for those kids that look to me for many things! It is so bad that WE are the scapgoats for the whole budget problem! I would love to add up how much money comes out of my pocket for my classroom and post it here. Guess what? When I get home I still work I do lesson plans find new ideas and I guarentee you others leave work and never bring anything home! I make $30,000 a year! $210 a month goes to student loans to put NC's budget in this f

  • Plenty Coups May 25, 2010

    " Get those resumes together now and consider a career change because the days of job security as a teacher are long gone. Blame your Governor and those who are members of and support the NCAE!"

    Thanks for telling teachers who is at fault here. Apparently the recession had nothing to do with it.

  • Plenty Coups May 25, 2010

    "they spend over a billion on education with no results."

    Exaggerating just a little bit here don't you think?

  • Plenty Coups May 25, 2010

    yourkilling me-"benal1 go preach to the 50% that don't pay taxes. Get your road money form them. See how they feel about paying taxes before you ask those that do pay more."

    Everyone pays local and state taxes. (as well as payroll taxes) Apparently you're referring to the 47% that don't pay federal income taxes. Normally state roads would be paid for by state funds.

  • chevybelair57sd May 25, 2010

    This state has exihibited a profound lack of ability to spend our tax money wisely. they spend over a billion on education with no results. Every state agency operates with a blank check mentality and we the dumb voters keep renewing their jobs. Easley took money out of the highway funds for years to "balance" his budget, now Bev says we need more money in the fund. We are in the worse depression in history and they just keep taxing and spending. When will we wise up and fire ALL of them. Maybe when we quit voting with our hands out

  • charlesboyer May 25, 2010

    Perhaps eliminating tax deductions for children on their parents return would help fill in the shortfall in education funding. If parents want more teachers, better schools etc, and the money isn't available, letting them -- the users of the system -- make up the difference is a good place to start.

    But of course that won't happen. We already give 50% of the state's budget to education and until the number is 100% the schools will always poor mouth about how they don't have enough funding.

  • littleriver69 May 25, 2010

    Help me out here. Didn't the teachers union push to get this woman elected in the first place?? Now she's cutting education money left and right. Whats the deal??

  • whatelseisnew May 25, 2010

    "Education officials said school districts cannot absorb more cuts without laying off personnel."

    Lay them off. Redistribute the work amongst the employees that you keep. This is how the real world works. It is time for the school system to educate themselves about the real world.

  • Bendal1 May 25, 2010

    No delilah, some projects aren't done right; that doesn't mean ALL of them aren't done right. Part of that is the DOT's use of private contractors performing inspections, and another part is the reduction of in-house inspectors. When you've got only one inspector for a 6 mile project, he isn't going to be everywhere all the time. Private inspectors aren't always as motivated to get things done right either.

    But, I guess you think everyone should be perfect, every day, every time. It must be tough being perfect yourself, isn't it?

    Yourkillingme,

    What are you talking about? Everyone pays gas taxes, and if you've got a car you pay registration fees. If you think the road system doesn't need more money you are deluding yourself; I guess it's true that most people always want something for nothing. Well, surprise, that doesn't happen in the real world.

  • gmarcum May 24, 2010

    Bev, you are a real piece of work....Maybe the teachers in this stae should all go on strike for one day. After the public school "daycare" shuts down for a day or two, and some parents may actually have to watch their kids and start complaining, then maybe education wull get its funding.

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