by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The Public School Forum of North Carolina released their 2017 Local School Finance Study, a report that examines roughly one-fourth funding for public schools in North Carolina.
The other three-fourths of the funding, which come from state and federal sources, are excluded. WRAL says that the report “isolated local spending from state and federal spending,” but never indicates what that means in terms of how much money was included and how much left out.
While the report points out that there are stark differences in local public school revenue due to differences in the tax base, it is important to note that poorer counties receive significantly more state and federal funding than wealthier counties. Halifax County Schools, for example, has the 16th highest per-student expenditure in the state, despite the fact that it is one of North Carolina’s poorest counties.