Educators, leaders predict budget would send North Carolina backwards
Gov. Bev Perdue has been on a listening tour, to hear first-hand how the Republican budget proposal will harm North Carolina’s future.
Gov. Perdue is considering whether to veto the proposal, which includes devastating cuts to education, social services, public safety and public health.
“With the budget that’s on my desk today, I wonder what’s going to happen to North Carolina,” Gov. Perdue said to a group of business leaders in Raleigh, reminding them that our state is unlike other Southern states because of a legacy of investments in public education. “This is a battle for the heart and soul of North Carolina.”
To hear more about the budget cuts, click here.
So as she considers whether to veto the budget, Gov. Perdue has been asking education and community leaders what the cuts would do to North Carolina.
In Greenville, Pitt County Superintendent Dr. Beverly Reep said that regardless of Republican claims that the budget will protect classroom positions, the budget would harm children.
"There’s no way that we can make those kinds of reductions without having an impact in our classroom," Reep said.
In Greensboro, Patrice Faison, principal of Oak Hill Elementary, said her school had made great improvement in student achievement, despite high levels of poverty. Those gains were made possible because of the work of the school’s teachers and teacher assistants. The cuts anticipated in Guilford would mean losing many of those important educators. Academic gains would be impossible after those cuts.
“I couldn’t imagine how we would do it, I can’t image how we would start,” Faison said.
Philip Rogers, chief of staff in the chancellor’s office at East Carolina University, said the campus has endured more than $100 million in budget cuts already.
"We have cut just about everything we can when it comes to administrative efficiencies," Rogers said. "With continuing cuts, it’s going to be a challenge to maintain the quality of education."
Don Martin, the superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools noted the budget will lead to teacher layoffs. He said the proposal ignores long-term consequences.
“It’s exactly the problem we have with our children,” he said, noting the great lengths his school system takes to convince high school students not to drop out.
Gov. Perdue echoed the sentiment:
“It’s like somebody just decided they were going to clear-cut all of North Carolina’s Longleaf Pines for a quick little profit,” she said. “They might get the cash they’re looking for short-term without thinking about the long-term damage, the generational damage that’s going to happen to our people.”
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