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NC Senate and House Budget Deal: Impact on Education

From: North Carolina News Service
Length: 01:45

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The North Carolina State Assembly is moving forward with a budget plan that includes some restoration of education funding lost in last year's tough budget cycle. The plan outlines a $251 million increase to education funding for the 2013 fiscal year.

Default-piece-image-0 FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The North Carolina State Assembly is moving forward with a budget plan that includes some restoration of education funding lost in last year's tough budget cycle. The plan outlines a $251 million increase to education funding for the 2013 fiscal year. 

Ricky Lopes, associate superintendent of Cumberland County Schools, says considering that the state is losing about that same amount in federal stimulus money this year, it will be some time before school systems can catch up from the accumulation of budget cuts in recent years.

"Folks try to make a difference between a lay-off and a cut. Either way, you're losing those positions in the schools, whether it's somebody who was actually already in that position, or it was a position that somebody retired from."

Cumberland County Schools lost 400 positions since 2008 as a result of "reversion funds," when the school system had to return some funding back to the state at the end of the school year. Durham Public Schools lost more than $32 million from the discretionary reversion required by the legislature in the last four years.

The amount of discretionary reversion funds currently budgeted to return to the state from local school systems is set at $503 million for 2012-13. Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC, says lawmakers are still not doing enough for education.

"Education funding is clearly a state responsibility. This legislature, once again, is failing our children, hurting our state's future."

The proposed budget also includes a 1.2 percent raise for public school teachers and state employees. The related Education Reform Plan adds a merit-pay system for teachers. If the budget is approved, it goes on the books July 1. 

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The North Carolina State Assembly is moving forward with a budget plan that includes some restoration of education funding lost in last year's tough budget cycle. The plan outlines a $251 million increase to education funding for the 2013 fiscal year. 

Ricky Lopes, associate superintendent of Cumberland County Schools, says considering that the state is losing about that same amount in federal stimulus money this year, it will be some time before school systems can catch up from the accumulation of budget cuts in recent years.

"Folks try to make a difference between a lay-off and a cut. Either way, you're losing those positions in the schools, whether it's somebody who was actually already in that position, or it was a position that somebody retired from."

Cumberland County Schools lost 400 positions since 2008 as a result of "reversion funds," when the school system had to return some funding back to the state at the end of the school year. Durham Public Schools lost more than $32 million from the discretionary reversion required by the legislature in the last four years.

The amount of discretionary reversion funds currently budgeted to return to the state from local school systems is set at $503 million for 2012-13. Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC, says lawmakers are still not doing enough for education.

"Education funding is clearly a state responsibility. This legislature, once again, is failing our children, hurting our state's future."

The proposed budget also includes a 1.2 percent raise for public school teachers and state employees. The related Education Reform Plan adds a merit-pay system for teachers. If the budget is approved, it goes on the books July 1.