Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cutting education while others boost it

How do North Carolina's cuts to education compare with other Southern states?

Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt this afternoon sent around a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board. It suggests that most Southern states are increasing spending on education, not cutting it, and that North Carolina is cutting at all levels of education more deeply than other states.

Nesbitt says the education cuts in the legislature's budget would put North Carolina 49th in per-pupil spending.

“How can North Carolina compete with the world if we can’t even compete with our neighbors?” he asks.

Nesbitt is right that the legislature is cutting education more deeply than it needed to. Preserving even part of an expiring one-cent sales tax could have provided hundreds of millions of dollars for schools.

What Nesbitt and the SREB don't say, however, is that the General Assembly's budget provides almost as much for education as Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue requested. So the numbers in the chart above wouldn't look much different even if legislators had given Perdue what she wanted.

Click on the chart above to make it more legible.

-- Posted by the Observer editorial board


Anonymous said...

So I see we are still clinging to the mindset that the one and ONLY way to improve the quality of education is to spend more taxpayer money on it.

Why does the media give the education systems a free pass on HOW they spend the money they have? Why is there no call to cut back on the number of 6-figure-salary bureaucrats who probably haven't been in a real classroom since the Reagan administration? Why is there no genuine examination of the methods being used to teach kids to see if there is something better? No, we must spend, spend, spend, spend and spend some more. Don't you dare question the model, just spend more dollars on it.

bjwtaylor said...

So I see that the mindset of a previous commenter here is the old mantra of cut, cut, cut. Never consider if the cuts are cost-effective or whether they will cost far more in the future. Or that money must be spent to compete in standard of living with states that have better sense than we do.

If we are to maintain, never mind improve, our standard of living, we have to be able to compete for jobs on a global scale. At 49th in the nation, with our nation ranking near the bottom among industrialized countries, we have nowhere to go but down.

A lesser standard of living is not what we want for our children and grandchildren. But I guess many of those old coots who are voting these penny-wise and dollar foolish budget cuts won't be around to care anymore then, so they don't care now.

I wonder if budget cuts closed their children or grandchildren's schools and guaranteed that the kids wouldn't be able to get into decent colleges (not that there will be any of those left in NC, either, if they have their way) or get decent jobs, if they would still vote the same way.

Bet you will find all of their families' educational institutions, whether public or private, will do just fine.