Despite the rhetoric from the status-quo Education Establishment in North Carolina, the General Assembly’s reforms to public education are accompanied by HIGHER spending on K-12. From Carolina Journal’s Dan Way:

Although authorized spending on K-12 public education in the newly enacted state budget will increase by nearly 5 percent over the previous school year, opponents of education reform have orchestrated rallies, flooded the media, and vilified the Republican-dominated General Assembly for its sweeping agenda.

Lawmakers adopted a 2013-14 budget conference report authorizing $7.9 billion in General Fund spending on K-12 education, which is up 4.8 percent over the $7.5 billion budget enacted for the 2012-13 fiscal year. 

“Since 2010, Republican legislators have made it clear that their policy agenda included a handful of core education reforms eventually incorporated into the budget,” said Terry Stoops, director of research and education studies at the John Locke Foundation. 

“These include the expansion of parental choice, elimination of teacher tenure and certain pay supplements, implementation of a school grading system, and development of a performance pay system for school personnel,” Stoops said. “Simply put, this budget is the culmination of an education reform agenda that had been laid out for the last three years.”

Acknowledging there are naysayers who claim that the reforms are an attempt to destroy public education, Stoops said: “The truth is that these reforms discard or dismantle policies approved decades ago at the behest of a handful of special interest groups. Legislators both modernized and diversified public education in North Carolina.”

Now comes the hard part, he said. 

“Status-quo teachers and administrators, along with the advocacy groups that support them, will do everything in their power to undermine these new policies during their implementation. As such, Republican legislators must remain vigilant,” Stoops said. “Otherwise, these worthwhile reforms will flounder through no fault of their own