What NC Is Spending For Public Schools – 2008-2009 Versus 2019-2020

This morning Rob Schofield published a piece on NC Policy Watch explaining the negative effects of the budget that Sen. Phil Berger and others in the NCGA are pushing.

The second dealt with public education.

#2 – Further undermining the state’s desperately underfunded public schools – As veteran education policy analyst Kris Nordstrom explained in July, there are myriad ways to illustrate the damage the state lawmakers are doing to North Carolina’s once-proud and now-threadbare public education system, but here are three that tell you about all you need to know:

  • Overall, the conference budget would have left total school funding 2.9 percent below pre-Recession levels when adjusted for enrollment growth and inflation. This figure underestimates the actual budget pressures faced by North Carolina’s public schools, as schools’ largest cost drivers – salary and benefit costs – have increased faster than traditional measures of inflation.

  • Of the 24 biggest allotments in FY 08-09, 20 of them remain below their pre-Recession levels (see tables here and here).

  • North Carolina would continue to spend significantly less per pupil than South Carolina.

The tables referred to in the second bullet point are as follows (credit to Kris Nordstrom):

While the second table does not have a dollar amount attached to the figures, what it shows is that not as many classroom teachers, support personnel, and administrators are being financed now as they were a little over ten years ago.

Just for clarification, the US Inflation Calculator states that from 2008 to 2019, we have experienced a cumulative inflation of %19.3.


And NC also has a public university system that it supports.

In 2008-2009, this was the cost of attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill per semester.


$2698.38 for resident students. That would translate to…



But this is what it is now.



And don’t forget, NC has a really big state budget surplus according to Phil and Tim.


4 thoughts on “What NC Is Spending For Public Schools – 2008-2009 Versus 2019-2020

  1. This is why I disagree with Gov. Cooper’s avg. 9% pay plan. It is not enough to replace what teachers have lost to inflation over a decade of GOP malfeasance. Only the original House plan, pre-conference came close, even if it meant waiting until 1-1-20 for it to take effect because where are we at now.


  2. Deborah Conrad still hasn’t responded to my email with Google sheets showing where my salary is essentially flat or behind inflation thanks to the GOP.


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