The North Carolina Senate released a state budget this week that makes government live within its means and puts more money in the pockets of taxpayers, while protecting essential public services.
Among others, our budget makes three responsible, long-overdue changes.
First, it reforms North Carolina’s broken education system. An educated workforce is vital to our state’s future. But our system isn’t working; it’s ranked near the bottom in national graduation rates. Instead of dumping more money on a failing system, we’re making reforms. We’re fostering early childhood education by adding more than 1,000 teachers to classrooms in grades one through three. We’re implementing a program to ensure students can read by fourth grade, making them much more likely to graduate. To hold teachers to high standards, we’re developing a program to pay them for performance, not seniority. And we’re adding five days to the school year.
Our plan right-sizes state government. By saving more than $1 billion, we’re getting government off the backs of job-creating businesses. We’re eliminating vacant positions, consolidating departments and reducing administrative costs and bureaucracy. Spending money wisely allows us to add teachers to classrooms and fully fund the state retirement system for the first time in years.
Finally, our budget slashes taxes and returns more than $1 billion to the private sector, where it will help businesses create thousands of new jobs. For too long, bloated government has prevented tax cuts that will get North Carolinians back to work and allow the private sector to pull us out of the recession.
— Sen. Tom Apodaca