State News

Coalition aims to stop school spending cuts

Posted April 14, 2010 4:04 a.m. EDT
Updated April 14, 2010 3:07 p.m. EDT

— Groups representing North Carolina teachers, school administrators and parents want to prevent more budget cuts to the public schools that were agreed to last year by the General Assembly and Gov. Beverly Perdue.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon for the coalition called "Fund Schools First." The coalition wants to send a message to state officials before the General Assembly convenes next month.

The North Carolina Parent Teacher Association and North Carolina Association of Educators are also members of the coalition.

"We say stop the cuts. Restore the funding. Have the courage. Make better choices. Do what's right for our children, and fund schools first," said Sheri Strickland of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Lawmakers are facing a projected $788 million budget deficit, about about 2 percent of the $18.9 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins in July.

The second year of the two-year state budget approved last summer by lawmakers and signed by Perdue would reduce state spending by $100 million beyond this year’s spending. The budget would require another $80 million in local school district cuts beyond the $225 million this year in grades 4-12.

The coalition planned to release a school funding report.