The North Carolina Senate’s proposed budget recommendations for FY 2010-2011 lays out more moderate cuts to Public Education than the Governor recommended earlier this year. Public Education would be cut by 2.9% ($219 million) under the Senate’s budget instead of Gov. Purdue’s proposed 3.5% ($260 million) reduction.
The Senate specifically revised the Governor’s suggestions by refusing a “management flexibility reduction” of $135 million.
A provision in the Senate’s budget bill does, however, allow Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to require teachers to take up to two days unpaid leave in order to help fill budgetary gaps.
The overall cuts would change the 2009 Approved Budget for FY 2010-11 from $7.36 billion to $7.14 billion. Not to be overlooked, however, is the $373 million in federal funds currently counted as a “cut” to the state budget. The $373 million comes courtesy of the “Education Stabilization Fund” created as part of the federal stimulus act. Therefore, actual public education spending in the Senate’s plan would come to $7.51 billion.
Major expansions and reductions include:
- Leadership Academy: $200,000. Academy provides professional development to superintendents enabling them to train principals to address critical areas such as student achievement and teacher recruitment and retention.
- Central Office Administration: $10 million. This reduces monetary allotments to LEAs for the purposes of hiring administrative staff, e.g. superintendents, finance officers, athletic trainers, and transportation directors.
- Average Daily Membership Adjustment: $5 million. Because of student enrollment growth slower than originally anticipated, less money will need to be appropriated.
- More at Four: $26 million. The Senate budget plan proposes a permanent reduction of $10 million to the program, but half of that is estimated to come from savings realized by capping administrative costs. There is another $16 million one-time spending reduction included, to be replaced by an anticipated increase in federal funds.
- Assistant Principals: $4.5 million. Funds used to employ assistant principals will be reduced by 4.8%.
- Mentoring: $9,214,190. All funding of LEAs for mentoring programs will be discontinued for FY 2010-11 only.
- Dropout Prevention Grants: $13 million. Opposed to Governor Purdue’s proposed $1.5 million expansion of Dropout Prevention Grants, the Senate recommends that this program be effectively discontinued.
- Appropriations to Non-Public School Organizations: about $200,000. The Senate proposes a 5% reduction of funding to programs like Teach For America, NC Science Olympiad, etc.
- School Bus Replacement: $11.9 million. There would be a 1 year moratorium on replacing school buses under the Senate’s plan; with $1 million being made available for emergency bus replacement purchases.
- Instructional Supplies: $5 million. An overall cut of 6% for school supplies.
- Child and Family Support Teams: $2.5 million. Reduces funding used to support school nurses and social workers by 21.3%.
- Protection of the Classroom while maximizing flexibility: up to $80 million. Teachers may be furloughed or released from employment, but only after implementing “administrative and other operating efficiencies.” State Board of Education will notify each individual school administrative unit of the total amount they will be required to cut.