by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
While we wait for a break in the budget impasse, teacher pay increases are on hold, increases in education spending is on hold. In addition to insisting NC increase Medicaid spending by $6 billion over the first two years, increase total Medicaid spending by 28% and increase the state budget by 8%, the Governor says he wants more money spent on education.
His arguments remind me of a recent visit to my dental hygienist. No matter how much I floss, it will never be enough. For education bureaucrats short on real ideas to improve outcomes in the classroom, spending on education will never be enough. The General Assembly should just accept this, and move on with their plan to focus on kids in classrooms, and ignore the union driven big spending.
For those folks, education spending will never be enough.
It’s not a matter of how much, it’s how that money is spent. If there’s not a positive outcome, we ought not be spending money on it. Teachers have gotten five consecutive raises with a sixth and seventh in the new budget, bringing average teacher pay to well over $55,000. Isn’t it time we now tied pay increases to outcomes in the classroom? And base all education spending and policies on what works best to ensure every kid in every classroom has a teacher equipped to offer the greatest opportunity to succeed. Finding the best option for each child’s unique needs and allowing education funding to follow that child is an effective method to ensure quality outcomes and opportunities.
We’d do well to focus on what is working, do it well, fund it appropriately and make sure every kid has what they need to succeed. More doesn’t always result in better. Outcomes are what matter. Let’s put our money where it matters.