When the North Carolina General Assembly concluded its 2019 session, it left without passing a budget. What that meant was that schools this past school year had to operate on the same amount of recurring funds that the last budget had allocated.
Schools this year are still operating on that same budget.
What should also be remembered is that that “long” session lasted about 4 months longer than usual because Phil Berger and Tim Moore were trying to override a veto that Gov. Cooper issued on an initial budget. Cooper said it did not do enough for teachers and public schools.
Moore got the NC House to vote in a surreptitious maneuver on 9/1/91. The Senate never actually voted on overriding.
Then came a pandemic.
True to form, Berger and Moore made sure that the NC General Assembly left without passing another budget. Furthermore, their intentional lack of leadership in helping North Carolina get out of this pandemic and their push to reopen schools without proper safety protocols has placed the public school system in more peril as far as funding is concerned.
The way that funding for schools in North Carolina operates is chiefly founded in the number of students that attend public schools.
Kris Nordstrom wrote a piece for NC Policy Watch that explains this situation much better than anyone else could.
Keep in mind that we as a state sit on quite a large “rainy-day” fund and that under Berger and Moore, corporate taxes have been cut much over the last few years.
As a state, we also have a credit rating that would allow us to borrow money at almost no interest.
But, the NCGA needs to act and Berger and Moore seem to be bent on making sure that public schools suffer in this pandemic. What the public school system loses could in the minds of Berger and Moore go to privatization efforts like vouchers and charter school expansion.
There is a petition that public school advocates can sign and show support for holding school budgets harmless during this unprecedented pandemic.
Oh, and vote this election season for pro-public school candidates.