Cut to the bone

by | Jul 23, 2013 | Editor's Blog, Education, NC Politics, NCGOP | 6 comments

Okay. Time to call bullshit. The John Locke Foundation is claiming that North Carolina has never been high in the national rankings of education spending and that the National Education Association’s claim that we are 48th in per pupil spending is near historic averages.

So, they’re using that as an excuse to cut spending even more? This is where we see things totally differently.

Republicans have been complaining about how our schools have failed. Then, Terry Stopes, Director of Education Studies claims that from 1996 to 2011 North Carolina’s “per-pupil expenditures never ranked higher than 36th in the nation and dropped as low as 47th.  Overall, the state ranked 40th in the percentage growth of education spending between 1996 and 2011.”

To me, the answer is obvious. For more more than 15 years, we’ve been in bottom 20% of the country in per pupil spending and our schools suck. We need to spend more on public education! Duh!

But in John Locke World, being at the bottom of the heap in per pupil spending means spend less. I guess it’s a combination of that pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstrap thing (or, as in the case of Art Pope, climb-out-by-your-umbilical cord thing) and the ol’ free-market fix. Who knows, but it’s going to cause a lot of pain.

I’ve got a couple of more for you. We’re 34th in per capita income. Democrats got us there from 49th in 1960, but in my book, that’s not good enough. And we’re 39th in median household income. Again, we should do better.

And you know something else? North Carolina children who live in poverty have a lower chance of climbing out than kids from other parts of the country.

And you know something sad? The states just below us in all these ranking are mostly other Southern states. We spend the least amount of money on our kids’ educations. Those kids live in the poorest states in the nation. And they have the least chance of improving their situation.

Now, John Locke and their Republican allies are using poor performance and poor funding as an excuse to cut spending for education.  That’s bullshit and I call it.



  1. Yoda

    Yes, we should spend like NY, $19,076 per student per year instead of the $8312 in NC. OOPS, the graduation rate in NY is 30th in the country, NC is higher at 28th place. Obviously if you spend outrageous amounts of money it will improve education, NOT!

    • Thomas Mills

      New York is the exception, Yoda. Bottom half of the country might mean cut education to you, it doesn’t to me. We don’t have half the problems of the New York City school system and we do our kids a huge disservice by accepting mediocrity.

      • Yoda

        I guess DC and Alaska are exceptions too? I agree that we do our kids a disservice by accepting mediocrity, But I posit that the disservice isn’t because of money, but because of too much PC “bullshit” as you like to say. Discipline is out the window and students no longer respect teachers because of it. But that is your Progressiveness. Instead of rewarding hard work and accomplishment, by the students, we have to coddle the losers and hold everyone back so we don’t hurt their feelings.

        • willard cottrell

          “Discipline is out the window and students no longer respect teachers because of it. ”

          You’ve got it wrong. It appears your saying the teachers are instructing their students to be undisciplined and being disrespectful against them (the teachers) . The children are supposed to be taught by their parents the rules of civility. Your point is full of contradictions.

          Teachers by nature want to teach – you by nature appear to want to segregate. I always find it interesting when the entire blame is on the teachers

  2. Paleotek

    One thing that kind of baffles me is how they intend to keep selling such a deep antipathy to public education as a viable public policy. It cuts against the grain of American culture, sentiment, and history, and I don’t think they have the resources to fool all the people about this all the time. So, politically, this looks like a kamikaze run. Are they stupid, or true believers, or do they really think they can get away with it? To paraphrase a tree-hugger, we are not so poor that we have to sacrifice public education, nor so rich that we can afford to. Make plans now to retire a tea-bagger legislator near you soon. Don’t worry, there will be lots of folks around willing to help.

  3. Nancy G. Rorie

    Yes, and as poultry growers (we used to be in that group) say, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.”

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