• John Locke Update

    Why Are Schools Still Sitting on ‘Emergency’ Covid Funds?

    posted November 12, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    North Carolina K-12 public schools have received close to $6 billion in Covid-19 relief funds. A new analysis finds school districts have about 75% of Covid funds unspent, and although poor districts receive significantly more per-student funding, they have more trouble getting dollars out the door. School district troubles derive from changes in how the pandemic has been received and the reality that Covid politics is big influence on Covid policy.
  • John Locke Update

    North Carolina Schools are flush with Covid-19 cash. Will they use it wisely?

    posted September 30, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    Federal Covid legislation has brought over $6 billion in funding to North Carolina schools. The additional money equates to approximately $3,900 per student, almost four times the 2019-20 annual federal per-student expenditure ($994). Pressure to spend the money wisely is real — and good — because resources used to address specific Covid-related needs, expand student and parental options, and tie spending to the student will be money well spent.
  • John Locke Update

    House Budget Plan Features Tax Cuts, Assertive Infrastructure Spending, and Pay Raises

    posted August 11, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The House budget plan, per previous agreement, would spend about the same total amount as the Senate plan. Differences exist, however, primarily with a less aggressive tax cut plan and more aggressive pay raises to teachers and state employees. Similar to the Senate plan, the House proposal would set aside significant funds in the Savings Reserve and Capital Infrastructure funds.
  • John Locke Update

    Nearly 90% of Covid Relief Funds Allotted to School Districts Still Unspent

    posted July 14, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    K-12 public school districts in North Carolina have received about $6 billion in federal funds to help address the coronavirus pandemic. On average, since last March, school districts have spent about 11% of funds appropriated for Covid relief. The low level of expenditures raise legitimate questions about the nature of the emergency and how federal dollars are spent.
  • John Locke Update

    Reality Morphs Covid Funds into Windfall for NC K-12 Education, Part 2

    posted June 11, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    North Carolina public schools will receive over $6 billion in funding to address the academic, emotional, and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Such levels of funding present high-risk and high-opportunity options for schools. Schools can ensure these funds are well spent by developing plans that are transparent, are strategic, discuss relevant trade-offs, encourage flexibility, and understand the implications of their choices.
  • John Locke Update

    Reality Morphs Covid Funds into Windfall for NC K-12 Education, Part 1

    posted June 10, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    Under the growing threat of a coronavirus combined with the government-imposed economic shutdown, Congress approved $6 billion in Covid-19 relief funds for K-12 public schools in North Carolina. A recovering economy has taken the worst-case scenarios off the table and resulted in more aid for K-12 schools than at any time in recent history. These dollars should be returned to taxpayers; otherwise, state leaders should take proper steps to ensure they are spent wisely and accomplish intended purposes.
  • John Locke Update

    North Carolina Has More Covid Cash Than It Can Use

    posted May 21, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    State government prioritized spending federal Covid money over knowing that the money is accomplishing a goal. Cooper and legislators have time to make future expenditures more accountable. With $13.6 billion in federal funds still available and the worst of the pandemic behind us, the best course is to return the money.
  • John Locke Update

    Coronavirus funding for K-12 schools — and you thought it was for the students

    posted March 16, 2021 by Dr. Robert Luebke
    North Carolina has a fund balance of $5.4 billion, the state has yet to spend $254 million of previous federally distributed aid, and schools will receive another $3.8 billion in aid because of the American Rescue Plan. Since the aid is more than needed to return children to the classroom and spread out over seven years, it should be seen for what it is: a bailout for teacher unions from Democratic lawmakers.

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