New Spending on Schools Targets Variety of Needs
The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2005 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
Preschool programs, high schools, and low-wealth districts in North Carolina will receive additional funding in the 2007 fiscal year under the state’s $7.3 billion budget for K-12 education.
The budget dedicates an additional $450 million in the general-fund budget over the fiscal 2006 level, or a hike of 7 percent.
North Carolina’s new precollegiate education budget includes $323 million in new spending for teacher-salary increases of about 8 percent, and another $90 million for bonuses for teachers in schools that improved sufficiently under the state’s education accountability program.
Low-wealth districts will get $42 million over their per-pupil allocation, and another $27 million has been set aside for support programs for disadvantaged students.
Some $10 million will go toward expanding the Learn and Earn program to more than 19 campuses. The program allows students to earn credits toward a high school diploma and a college degree simultaneously. The program currently includes 13 campuses.
North Carolina officials expect to generate an additional $425 million from the new state lottery, the proceeds of which benefit the state’s preschool initiative, class-size reduction in kindergarten through 3rd grade, school construction, and college scholarships.
Vol. 26, Issue 05, Page 19