Education Matters

EDUCATION MATTERS

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“The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” - Malcolm Forbes

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U.S. Average District Public School Per-Pupil Expenditure: $12,020[1]

North Carolina Public Education National Rankings[2]

42nd  Teacher pay                                                                                     

47th    Funding per pupil

50th   Overall ranking                                                                                

48th   Change in teacher salaries between 2003-04 & 2013-14[3]       

Key North Carolina Public Education Issues

Teacher Pay, Turnover, and Teacher Assistants

  • In the decade from 2001-2 to 2011-12, North Carolina teachers witnessed a 15% average salary decline. NC pays its teachers $10,000 less than the national average.[1]
  • In 2014-2015, largely due to loss of salary and benefits, 14,255 teachers opted to leave their current positions, a five-year high in NC teacher turnover.[2]
  • High turnover results in fewer mentors for starting teachers and more students in classrooms with less-experienced educators.
  • Fewer teacher assistants translates to less individualized attention for students.

Public School Funding

  • Inflation adjusted per-pupil spending for NC public schools is well below 2008 levels. [3]
  • Public schools are left with more students, fewer experienced teachers, and fewer teacher assistants.
  • Moving funds from public to private/parochial/charter schools wastes resources on unproven, often experimental private schools and leaves public schools without the resources to make them successful.
  • When state legislators want to make cuts, there are two big targets:  education (about one-third of budget) and health and human services (more than one-third of budget).
  • In 2013, Education Week labeled the NC legislature, “The Most Backward Legislature in America.”[4]

Charter Schools and Vouchers

  • Unlike NC public schools, private/charter schools are not accountable to most standards.
  • Vouchers and state support for charter schools drain resources from already underfunded public schools, which have 150,000 more students than ten years ago.[5]
  • Student achievement does not improve in charter schools.  In states where charter school performance is tracked, public school students outperform voucher students.[6]
  • The state’s voucher program violates the North Carolina Constitution. It states, “The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools … wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students.” Vouchers to private/parochial/charter/for-profit schools also violates Article V, Section 2(1), which requires that "the power of taxation shall be exercised … for public purposes only."

What Can You Do?  

VOTE to support public education.



[1] http://www.publicschoolsfirstnc.org

[2] http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2014-15turnoverreport.pdf

[3] http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-education-spending-per-pupil-data.html

[4] http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/john_wilson_unleashed/2013/07/the_most_backward_legislature_in_america.html

[5] http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d14/tables/dt14_203.20.asp

[6] www.educationjustice.org/newsletters/nlej_iss21_art5_detail_CharterSchoolAchievement.htm

 

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