As the momentum builds during budget negotiations, WakeEd wanted to share with you where we stand on several state budget items.
A comparison of the three proposed budgets are provided below. We’ve highlighted the budget approach that WakeEd supports for each of these issues.
Teacher Pay: Increase pay for teachers and fully fund a career pathways program for teachers. While recent increases in base pay help, North Carolina teacher salaries lag behind neighboring states and rank low nationally. Teacher salary in North Carolina should be competitive with neighboring states and commensurate with roles, responsibilities, and education requirements. Career pathways that provide meaningful avenues for increased impact, greater responsibility, and significantly more pay should be funded for implementation.
Continuation Budget: Include projected student enrollment growth in annual budget formulation for K-12 public education. At the state level, a new budgetary approach fails to consider student enrollment growth when determining funding for education for the upcoming year. WCPSS and other high-growth districts experience a significant decrease in per-pupil funding under such a scenario.
Driver’s Education: Restore funding for Driver’s Education courses, or allow districts to assess fees to cover the full cost of providing the course. Funding for a required Driver’s Education course has been eliminated beginning in 2015-2016. Districts are restricted in what they can ask students to pay in fees to cover costs. This leaves districts with a large cost for providing the required course.
WakeEd is committed to improving early literacy. The importance of children’s early literacy development cannot be overstated. While our public education system plays an important role in literacy development, parents and community members are the first teachers in a child’s life. Everyone plays a part to ensure all children get the support they need. WakeEd works to coordinate efforts and provide resources to improve early literacy skills for children from birth through third grade.