Looking At The Leandro Report Through The Eyes Of An Epidemic

Below are the 12 basic findings from the WestEd Leandro Report released last fall entitled “Sound Basic Education for All – An Action Plan for North Carolina.”

  • Finding #1: Funding in North Carolina has declined over the last decade.
  • Finding #2: The current distribution of education funding is inequitable.
  • Finding #3: Specific student populations need higher levels of funding.
  • Finding #4: Greater concentrations of higher-needs students increases funding needs.
  • Finding #5: Regional variations in costs impact funding needs.
  • Finding #6: The scale of district operations impacts costs.
  • Finding #7: Local funding and the Classroom Teacher allotments create additional funding inequities.
  • Finding #8: New constraints on local flexibility hinder district ability to align resources with student needs.
  • Finding #9: Restrictions on Classroom Teacher allotments reduce flexibility and funding levels.
  • Finding #10: Frequent changes in funding regulations hamper budget planning.
  • Finding #11: The state budget timeline and adjustments create instability.
  • Finding #12: There is inadequate funding to meet student needs.

Now, look at those basic findings through a lens that tries and accounts for an epidemic and state-wide school closures. Think about issues of equity and issues of actual connectivity.

Think about the hundreds of thousands of people and their families who have had to file for unemployment.

Think about how many families already lived from paycheck to paycheck.

Think about how Medicaid was never expanded.

Think about how we as a state are operating on a stalled budget that only funds at last year’s recurring rates.

Think about how before this epidemic even hit, over 20% of our public school students already lived at or below the poverty level.

Think about a state that has the lowest minimum wage legally possible in the country.

Think about how education funds were some of the first to be cut in the last recession and some the last to even begin to think about recovering.

And then look at every graphic below that came from the Leandro report and try and explain how every one of those is not exacerbated by the current situation and the system in place to try and “curb” it.

Vote in 2020.

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