Laundry List to Our State Leaders

Dear Sirs:

I am afraid this email will again fall on deaf ears, but I am writing regarding my continued distress at the devastating cuts and under-funding from the state level to Moore County Schools. I know your answers to my emails are complicated by the fact that I understand the finances back to 2008 and am not easily confused by the use of misleading statistics provided by lobbyists and for-profit charter and voucher scheme advocates. And before you jump to the Moore-county-needs-to-step-up-more part, we are asking them for more, daily.  Moore county’s local supplement is 28th highest while state funding is 105th/115, leaving us 85th overall. We will keep pushing.

To refresh your memory on my concerns, Moore County already faces the burden of:
1. inaccurate teacher funding by county instead of site (at least $1.4M),
2. the reversion of average teacher salary differences ($1.5M),
3. the previous (prior to 2016 budget) pressure on class size by changing k-3 class size allotment formulas ($1.7M),

4. previous cuts to teacher assistants, textbooks, classroom materials, support positions, and underfunded benefit and salary increases,
5. the lack of “low wealth county” funds based on the tier system,
6. the loss of sales tax expansion funds based on the tier system and,
7. the 2016-2017 unfunded class size reduction act ($2.9M or $1.42M)
I’ve recently written to you about the stunted “education” lottery fund use and the newest proposal to distribute capital lottery dollars AGAIN based on the flawed tier system.  Another nail in the coffin.
That brings us to the current push to shift funding toward the for-profit and voucher schemes which are unacceptable (see article link at the bottom).  The data you are using to justify this is pick-and-choose.  The reality on the ground is segregation by wealth, race, and (lack of a) serious disability.  This is contrary to the NC Constitution you purport to uphold.

Continuing to stall on funding, delaying or suspending the class size reduction act is just adding unnecessary complication to already stressed systems across the state. Putting all these things together, you can see how I might view your actions as a ploy to distract, divide, divert and therefore gain leverage in negotiation on the education budget.  To what end? Further tax cuts (yes, from which I personally benefit)?  Any benefit achieved by the individual is negated by the devastation of education to the majority of North Carolina’s children, our future.  That scares me. NC public education has always been a source of economic development and betterment in our state. Please do not destroy it by continuing to push budget needs to the counties and into for-profit companies.


Whether your continued support of all these flawed funding issues is due to wilful ignorance or simple misunderstanding is beyond me.  There are MANY resources at the school and district level willing to clarify how the policies you enact as horse-trades in Raleigh translate to daily erosion in the classroom.  There are ways to fund education from existing state funds.  Imagine the goodwill and press you can enjoy from correcting the broken policies of previous democratic and republican assemblies? Win-win-win, simply by doing the right thing. Please seek out ideas from the professional school finance officers, past and present.

Karin Kent
Moore County

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