Published: January 6, 2005

Finance Snapshots

North Carolina

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North Carolina pays for education using three basic allotments: position, dollar, and categorical. The position allotments serve as a foundation formula because the number of teaching positions required is statutorily mandated. Teacher positions are distributed based on legislated student-to-teacher ratios for each grade level. For example, the student-to-teacher ratio required for grades K-2 is 18-to-1. The dollar-allotment portion of state aid provides money for local districts to hire employees or buy materials for a specific purpose. No other adjustments or weights are included in the formula, aside from the different student-to-teacher ratios for different grade levels. North Carolina provides more than a quarter of state education dollars through the third allotment—categorical aid. Total spending on categorical programs for fiscal 2004 was more than $1.6 billion. North Carolina lost its school finance battle in Hoke County Board of Education v. State. Last summer, the state supreme court affirmed a lower court’s decision that the state had failed in its constitutional duty to provide students in Hoke County with the opportunity to obtain a “sound basic education.” In addition, the high court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the state must act to correct the deficiency.

Use the selector box at top right to view finance snapshots for individual states.

Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 70

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