Last week Appropriations Committee chairmen received their budget targets. The targets represent approximate spending limits for each subcommittee. Republican leadership proposed a spending target of $10.4 billion for all public education (public schools, community colleges and UNC System) . That’s approximately $764 million less than Gov. Perdue’s proposed budget for FY 2011-12. It is also 6.3 percent less than was spent for all of public education last year. The $10.4 billion approximates FY 2006-07 spending levels for all public education.
Where will the savings come from? Contrary to the misery you hear in the press, there are plenty of good ideas for savings and reform being floated. These include: consolidating Smart Start and More at Four (Andrew Henson of our staff has written several compelling pieces highlighting the problems with SmartStart), developing alternative salary schedules based on performance and tying higher education funding to institutional performance (i.e., graduation rates and learning measures).