Letter: The crisis in K-12 public education

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I am a member of Public School Strong and a strong advocate of fully funded public education in North Carolina. Over the last several years, North Carolina’s Republican-controlled government (Senate, House and Supreme Court) have worked diligently to reduce public education funding and instead provide taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private schools, primarily religious-oriented.

In recent years, the General Assembly in Raleigh has provided 60%-65% of funding for K-12 public schools, the remainder coming from federal and local funding. Today, North Carolina ranks 48th in the country in per-pupil funding ($4,655 below the national average and dead last when it comes to school funding effort). The State of North Carolina (controlled by Republicans) does not budget enough for public education. Period. They could do much more.

Our Buncombe County Board of Commissioners is tasked with contributing to funding public education (approximately 30% of the budget currently). Last month, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners authorized local funding for both Buncombe County and City of Asheville schools that did not meet their dire needs, despite desperate pleas from both that expected funding would harm the ability of Buncombe County schools to maintain teachers, provide services only provided by public schools and adequately educate our children. The Board of Commissioners is squeezed, and I believe it does the best it can with the dollars it has.

Additionally last month, the Buncombe County Board of Education appointed former Buncombe County GOP chair Glenda Weinert to the school board. (See Greg Parlier’s coverage in the June 12 issue of Mountain Xpress.) Given that I hold the Republican Party responsible for the desperate situation now faced by our public schools, I find the appointment of Weinert alarming. Has the future of fully funded public education been completely abandoned in North Carolina?

One thing North Carolina voters can do on Nov. 5 is choose candidates at all levels who support fully funded public education and who value a vibrant and diversified learning environment for the future of our children.

— Sharon Broussard

Editor’s note: This letter has been updated from the version in the print issue.


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2 thoughts on “Letter: The crisis in K-12 public education

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Get YOUR child OUT of government screwls as fast as you CAN ! They will thank you foevah!

  2. T100

    We have an old saying in the Computer World: GIGO — Garbage In -> Garbage Out. Applies to school students too … no matter how much you pay the teachers.

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