by Locker Room contributor
That’s the headline in today’s Chapel Hill Herald, which reports Orange’s school superintendent says that to continue current programs next year, Orange County will have to pony up $1.8 million more for the system than it did this year. Why the “scary” problem? Because the school district played the same game the General Assembly likes to play with the state budget: use one-time revenue sources for recurring expenses. And now, Orange school officials are beginning the predictable how-are-we-gonna-pay-for-it-all media campaign. Expect the “for the children” pleas to emerge soon. Ironically, the story directly above the “scary” one includes information about $8,000 the district will spend in bonuses for 16 teachers who recently earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In addition to the $500 bonus from the district, each will receive a 12 percent raise from the state, which also paid a $2,300 application fee for each teacher and gave them three paid days off to work on the project. As we know, there is little evidence that this certification equates to greater student achievement, yet the state is spending roughly $25 million a year on it.