by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently updated a graph detailing changes to state per pupil funding.
It is interesting for two reasons. First, if Republicans leaders continue to follow the trend depicted below, then North Carolina’s K-12 budget will receive a sizable boost next year.
Second, it shows how Democrats slashed state education funding during the Great Recession. (Note: Follow the pink bars. The green and blue bars represent federal stimulus funds.) During the 2010-11 school year, state funding was just above $5,100 per student. This year, state funds will provide nearly $5,750 per student. Whether this was a good or bad thing is a discussion for another time.
I have seen some folks use the 2008-09 school year as the baseline, even though Democrats passed two subsequent budgets. The first budget under a Republican legislative majority funded public schools for the 2011-12 school year. Indeed, a more defensible baseline would be the 2010-11 school year (Democratic budget) or the 2011-12 school year (Republican budget).