For only being in office two month’s Governor Perdue is already perfecting the art of saying one thing and doing another. At her remarks at last week’s North Carolina Association of Educator’s convention in Raleigh, Perdue used the time to reiterate her promise to fight for teacher jobs and protect public education from state budget cuts.
Interestingly, the Governor’s own numbers show the FY2008-09 education budget was cut $146 million in recent months to deal with revenue shortfalls. In addition, the Governor’s FY2009-10 state budget requests a net reduction of $ 297 million in state funds for public education (See: The North Carolina State Budget: Summary of Recommendations, 2009-2011, page 5). No doubt, the Governor’s plan to use over $1 billion in federal stimulus funds to backfill the state education cuts will soften the impact – and the criticism. Still the governor's promise, doesn't quite square with reality.
No, I'm not arguing for more education funding — only honesty. Let’s hope we see some of that in the future – as well as a plan for what the state will do to replace federal stimulus funds. It may come in handy.