Now that the House and the Senate have passed their budgets, the differences between the two will be reconciled by a conference committee, with members from both chambers. This year is the beginning of a new biennium, meaning that the budget will be set for the new fiscal year beginning July 1, and only minimal changes will be made next year. The members of the committee are listed here if you want to contact them individually and our petition to them is here if you want to catch them all at once. Better yet, do both!
What schools need is not complicated, and the state certainly has enough revenue to achieve it.
North Carolina must:
- Eliminate the pre-K wait list by funding enough new pre-K spots for the average annual waiting list of 7,000 known-eligible 4-year-olds. Every dollar invested in pre-K saves up to $13 in future state costs and earns a better average annual return than offered by the stock market. Don’t let another child waste a year that could be used getting Kindergarten-ready!
- Fund specials by identifying and including funds for art, music, PE, and world language (or specials) teachers whose jobs will be threatened by impending K-3 class size restrictions. These teachers are part of a well-rounded curriculum for our children, and we will lose many of them if their careers are at risk on an annual basis!
- Raise teacher pay by implementing the teacher salary plan proposed by the governor to get adequate pay in the hands of these professionals in a timely fashion, ending the biennium with a schedule that includes average raises of 10%, only slightly higher than the 9.5% legislative leaders claim they’ll institute by 2019. We cannot remain at the bottom of teacher pay competitiveness rankings and continue to have the most highly certified teacher-force in the nation!
- Increase per pupil expenditure. Textbook funding, instructional supplies, teacher support personnel, and administrator pay are all lagging in North Carolina, and legislative budgets simply do not invest enough in our classrooms. We owe our children more investment in their classrooms. We owe our children more investment in their classrooms to ensure their academic success!
PLEASE ACT TODAY!! This is the critical moment to fight for this funding!