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From the State North Carolina Office of Gov. Bev Perdue (D) , shared June 1:
RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today announced the results of a budget analysis conducted by the North Carolina State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction that details the cuts ordered by the Senate leadership in their budget proposal.
Early analysis shows that the Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and McDowell County schools, along with Asheville city schools, will be required to cut a total of $16.4 million from their budgets – forcing them to lay off teachers, teaching assistants and administrators.
Senate Republicans this week attempted to hide their frighteningly deep cuts to local school districts.
The truth is that the Republicans, who had already sliced into the public schools budget, slashed deeper, forcing local school districts to cut $429 million next year alone. Republican Senate leaders are dodging responsibility and shoving the cuts down to local schools. The Senate’s additional cuts will require counties to eliminate large numbers of teachers, teaching assistants and administrators.
By contrast, Governor Perdue’s proposal would fully protect the classroom, protect critical preschool programs like Smart Start and More at Four and secures access to thousands of critical workforce training programs in our community college and university systems, according to analysis by the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education.
If this budget passes, the results will devastate North Carolina’s classrooms. Looking at just next year’s budget, for example, in Western North Carolina, Buncombe County will face $7.4 million in cuts, Haywood County will face $2.2 million in cuts, Henderson County will face $3.9 million in cuts, McDowell County will face $1.8 million and Asheville city schools will face $1.1 million in cuts.
Combined, the Republican plan will force $16.4 million in those five systems alone.
“The proposed budget appears to be a charade,” said Gov. Perdue. “While the Republican leadership claims to protect teaching positions, they are actually forcing local school districts to make substantial layoffs of education personnel to the tune of more than a quarter billion dollars statewide – meaning thousands of teachers and teaching assistants will be cut.”
“Instead of taking the responsible course of extending a portion of the sales tax to pay for critical education needs, the Senate seems to have continued to pursue an ideologically driven effort to unnecessarily defund education and other crucial programs.”
A close look at their plan shows that the General Assembly has washed their hands of their budgeting responsibility in order to force local school districts to deal with the state’s budget shortfall.
The Republican leaders of the General Assembly are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim that they’re protecting educators and children, and then they turn around and force counties to make unpopular budget decisions. It’s unfair, it’s short-sighted, and it’s just plain wrong for North Carolina.