Driver’s Education Funding: Dead End Ahead

One of the many responsibilities that school districts have in North Carolina is to provide Driver’s Education to students.

\"\"The responsibility includes all students in a county, which includes those attending private, charter, or home-based schools.

WCPSS Chief Finance Officer David Neter reported during the recent Board of Education meeting that the final state budget eliminated all funding from the Department of Transportation for school districts to provide Driver’s Education.  Currently districts are allowed to charge students a $65 fee, up from $55 a year ago.  The problem is that the course costs hundreds of dollars per student.

How is a district to make up the cost difference?  Neter pointed out that the budget states that districts “shall use funds available to them.”  This means it’s not an option for districts to provide driver’s education or not.  They shall – and they shall pay for it however they can – minus passing the remainder of the cost on to the student.  The issue will need to be solved by districts, and Neter predicts that the issue will be taken up in the next legislative session.

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