It’s election time and Republican legislators are again claiming they’re spending more money on public schools. In direct mail pieces and in social media posts, they’re bragging about their record on education. So once again, it’s time to ask, where’s the money?
If the GOP has allocated more money for public schools, where did it go? Why did they cut teacher assistants from so many classrooms and where are the savings? What happened to the money that once went to school resource officers who are no longer there? And why does the PTO spend so much time to asking parents to raise money for basic school supplies like paper, pencils and scissors?
And where’s our lottery money? When the General Assembly passed the lottery, we were promised that the money would not be added to the general fund but would be a supplement to the schools. That doesn’t appear to be true. The money is not going directly into classrooms like we were promised.
Our per pupil spending is among the lowest in the nation. Our teacher pay is, too. Adjusted for inflation and accounting for growth, Republicans today are spending far less than Democrats spent before Bush’s Great Recession tanked out economy. Our school boards, our teachers and our kids are feeling the pain and no amount of misinformation is going to change that.
Republicans rode into Raleigh claiming that our public schools were broken and their solution was to slash funding, shift money into voucher schemes and fund charter schools that lacked accountability. Our schools weren’t broken, but they’re worse off today than they were then.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >