As the General Assembly prepares to vote this week on a 2019-21 compromise budget put forth by the NC House and Senate, Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, released the following statement:
“The budget compromise crafted by members of the House and Senate fails to ensure all children in North Carolina will receive a sound basic education in the two years ahead,” said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.
“This budget fails to ensure our children have access to safe and strong public school buildings, adequate school-based mental health supports, and a well-supported, high quality teacher workforce. This budget continues to under invest in our state’s crown jewel—our public schools,” said Poston.
“Particularly disappointing about the compromise budget is that bright spots that appeared in House and Senate versions failed to make it to the final budget,” said Poston. “In the House budget, we looked forward to the possibility that our state leaders would restore master’s pay for teachers and modify the statewide A-F school grading system so that it would give more balanced weight to student performance and student growth. Instead we will continue stigmatizing these students, teachers and schools in our state’s poorest communities without any real support to help them improve. In both the Senate and House budgets, there were proposals to fund school mental health support personnel grants. The Senate also proposed funding for 100 new school psychologists. None of those proposals moved forward.”
“The proposed compromise budget continues to fund public schools below pre-recession levels on a per student basis, continues to send public dollars to unaccountable private schools under the false narrative of helping children from economically disadvantaged households, and enacts a pay-as-you-go infrastructure plan that does not fully address our massive school infrastructure needs or provide assurances that those capital funds will even materialize like a statewide school bond would have done,” said Poston. “Our lawmakers say that public schools remain the top priority of the North Carolina General Assembly’s spending plan—but actions speak louder than words,” said Poston.