Wake County school leaders (and likely school leaders across the state) are up in arms about the state’s elimination of funding for driver’s ed programs.
Wake County school leaders warned Tuesday that the state’s elimination of funding for driver’s education could endanger public safety and will lead to higher costs for parents and taxpayers to fund the required program. After the fiscal year ends in June, the General Assembly plans to phase out the $26 million it now provides for driver’s education. But the state is still requiring school systems to offer the program. The school board made restoration of state funding for driver’s education one of the items for state lawmakers’ consideration when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. “I’m suggesting the legislature honor the bargain struck after the Depression, where the state funds the operation of the schools,” school board member Bill Fletcher said.
North Carolina is one of eight states that fully fund driver education; it is the only state which funds the program from its state highway fund and does not have a dedicated revenue source for this purpose. Of the other 42 states, 10 provide partial funding and 32 do not fund their program at all.