Earlier this week Republican lawmakers released their $10.6 billion budget proposal for public education for the coming fiscal year. Budget discussions have been framed by how lawmakers would address the state’s estimated $2.4 billion budget deficit. In the end, lawmakers sought to roughly balance the reductions across all three components of public education.
The overall budget for public education (K-12 public schools, community colleges and UNC system) is down slightly (1.5 percent) from the current 2010-11 year’s budgeted appropriations.
The widely reported “cuts” of 15.5 percent to the UNC system, 10 percent to Community Colleges and 8.8 percent to the public schools are comparisons to the desired increase of the base budget.
Actual year-over-year comparisons, however, show different results. For instance, the 2011-12 K-12 proposed appropriation actually represents a slight increase over the current budget year’s budgeted appropriation.
(For more information on the budget proposals, you can see the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education’s website)
Budget highlights include:
K-12 Public Schools – Total proposed spending: $7.22 billion
Current year budgeted appropriation: $7.09 billion
Year-over-year change: Increase of $134 million (2%)
- The House budget fully funds growth in the public school system, there are no adjustments to class size ratios
- Local school administrators must find $347 million in budget reductions for their local schools
- Teacher Assistants are only funded for Kindergarten and First Grade ($258 million in savings). Teacher Assistants are currently used in grades K through 3
- Funding for principals and assistant principals is reduced ($24.7 million in savings)
- Central Office administration reductions ($10.7 million in savings)
Community Colleges – Total proposed spending: $991 million
Current year budgeted appropriation: $1.06 billion
Year-over-year change: Decrease of $69 million (6.5%)
- $44 million in Management Flexibility Reduction, to be decided upon by each school
- Eliminates 19 positions from Community College System Office
- Raises Curriculum Tuition by $10/credit hour in the first year of the budget and by $12.50/credit hour in 2012-13
UNC Budget – Total proposed spending: $2.43 billion
Current year budgeted appropriation: $2.67 billion
Year-over-year change: Decrease of $240 million (9%)
- $447 million in total reductions
- Provides $47 million for enrollment growth
- UNC Hospital Subsidy reduced by $44 million
- UNC Public Television subsidy reduced by $12 million
- Removes tuition remission for out-of-state students on scholarship: $6 million in savings
- Beginning in 2012-13, limits eligibility for state-based financial aid to 9 semesters
- Reduces Legislative Tuition Grant to students attending private colleges by 10 percent