MEDIA RELEASE: New education primer breaks down importance of where and how education is financed in NC

RALEIGH (February 20, 2017) — Schools that lead to success for all of North Carolina's students are only possible when they have adequate resources. A new primer from the Budget & Tax Center and Education & Law Project, both projects of the NC Justice Center, offers a complete breakdown of the importance of where and how we finance education across the state, and how successful student and school-level outcomes increase when spending is increased for each of our students.

This primer provides an important foundation for advocates who want to understand and engage in the decision-making process for investments in education. North Carolinians who understand our school finance system will be better equipped to make sure the state is meeting its constitutional duties and work towards improvements in communities across the state.

"How the money is spent is equally important — targeted investments that help reduce class size, increase the number of teacher assistants, expand early education, and improve teacher pay are all directly connected to positive student outcomes," said Kris Nordstrom, policy analyst with the Education & Law Project, and author of the primer. "Targeted investments can lead to higher graduation rates, higher levels of educational attainment, and higher lifetime earnings, particularly for students from low-income families."

The primer offers a breakdown of:

  • Core principles and components of school finance
  • A history of school funding in North Carolina
  • Where North Carolina schools get their funding
  • Background on charter schools and voucher programs
  • Where money is spent in our schools
  • School funding trends

The primer also touches on the state budgeting process. A primer looking exclusively at the North Carolina budget will be released later this week from the Budget & Tax Center.

“Our budget decisions reflect the priorities we have for our state, and educating each child to succeed should be top among them," said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center. "Unfortunately, the choice to continue to cut taxes for the wealthy and for profitable corporations reduces our ability to fund the classroom, attract and retain teachers, and support students’ educational achievement."

The primer is available at this link: http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=education/what-you-need-know-financing-educa...

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Kris Nordstrom, kris@ncjustice.org, 919.856.3195; Alexandra Sirota, alexandra@ncjustice.org, 919.861.1468; Julia Hawes, julia@ncjustice.org, 919.863.2406.