This announcement turned out to be another example of bad legislation to take more control over local districts and stifle every LEA’s ability to use funds for vital needs.
From the N&O this afternoon:
North Carolina lawmakers plan to give each teacher $400 to spend on classroom supplies by taking $37 million away from local school districts that they say hasn’t been properly spent.
Several Republican lawmakers and GOP State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced Wednesday the creation of the N.C. School Supply Program that would be funded by new legislation requiring school districts to transfer $400 to each teachers. Educators would use the ClassWallet app to spend the money and to submit reimbursements for supplies they purchase.
“Giving teachers the maximum control over classroom supply funds is the ultimate local control,” Johnson said at a news conference. “Teachers can be nimble and they can use these funds to buy what they need, when they need it.”
There’s a problem with that. It uses existing monies already allocated to districts. And what Lisa Godwin, NC’s TOY for 2017, said summed it up best.
Godwin was supposed to be at that press conference, but she pulled out with a Facebook post.
“A press announcement went out earlier today that stated I would be attending an educational announcement being made tomorrow. I just wanted to clarify that the announcement was somewhat premature. After much consideration and prayer, I have decided not to be a part of the announcement.”
And then she explained her reasoning in quote in NC Policy Watch.
“I realized it was just a reallocation of funds,” Godwin said. “It felt like there could be repercussions for districts. Districts could be hurt from a purchasing stand point because they buy so many things in bulk and they have capacity to buy more at a lesser amount. If we took that money away from them that could prohibit them from being able to do that.”
Godwin said there could also be repercussions for teachers if the bill is approved by the General Assembly.
“This $400 is going to run out pretty quick, and they’re (teachers) going to go to their districts and say the need copy paper or toner, and the districts are going to say, sorry you got your $400,” Godwin said. “I don’t want to do anything that would hurt districts or teachers.”
She nailed it.
She called it for what it was.
She was not going to be used as a pawn.
She stood up for teachers and school districts.
She was being the Teacher of the Year.
Calling out Raleigh for not fully funding public schools and putting more burdens on local districts.