Monday, June 19, 2023

More Education Leaders Continue to Speak Out Against NC General Assembly’s Plans to Undermine and Underfund Public Schools Bipartisan Calls from 30+ School Boards and Public Education Leaders Across the State to Invest in Public Schools

Education leaders in over 30 school districts are speaking out to oppose the extreme North Carolina General Assembly legislation that would decimate public schools and calling on legislators to invest in public education.
Jun 19, 2023

Education leaders in over 30 school districts are speaking out to oppose the extreme North Carolina General Assembly legislation that would decimate public schools and calling on legislators to invest in public education.

“Republican legislators want to take taxpayer dollars away from public schools and give it to millionaires to send their kids to private school,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Education and business leaders from rural and urban areas are continuing to urge legislators to make real investments in public education.”

A growing number of school boards, from both rural and urban counties, have recently passed resolutions including:

Several additional school boards, including Durham Public Schools, are considering similar resolutions. 

In addition, more education and business leaders are joining local school boards in speaking out against the bills to expand the private school voucher program that would cause public schools to lose millions of dollars. 

Last week, the State Board of Education Chairman sent a letter to legislators outlining the board’s concerns with the proposed expansion of private school vouchers and the bills being considered by the General Assembly that would erode the State Board’s constitutional authority to oversee the state’s public education system. The Guilford County Commissioners passed a resolution on the need to invest in public education. Mike Hawkins, a former Transylvania County Commissioner and business owner, published an op-ed focused on the negative impact the proposed expansion of private school vouchers would have on local public school funding in Transylvania County.

The above school boards and education leaders join the growing group of education leaders from across the state who are calling on the General Assembly to prioritize public education in the state budget. Ten school boards have already passed resolutions calling on the NC General Assembly to invest in public education, including:

In addition, nineteen superintendents in the northeast region sent a letter to legislators expressing their concerns with the proposed voucher expansion and highlighting the harm the expansion would have on the school districts in their region. The nineteen superintendents oversee:

  • Gates County Schools
  • Perquimans County Schools
  • Bertie County Schools
  • Beaufort County Schools
  • Camden County Schools
  • Currituck County Schools
  • Dare County Schools
  • Edenton-Chowan Schools
  • Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools
  • Halifax County Schools
  • Hertford County Schools
  • Hyde County Schools
  • Martin County Schools
  • Northampton County Schools
  • Pitt County Schools
  • Roanoke Rapids Graded School District
  • Tyrrell County Schools
  • Washington County Schools
  • Weldon City Schools

Dr. Kim Morrison, Superintendent of Mt. Airy City Schools, published an op-ed highlighting the great things public schools in Mt. Airy and across the state provide to students and their communities. She also pointed out the danger that the proposed expansion of private school vouchers poses to public schools in her community.

The North Carolina Caucus of Black School Board Members passed a resolution urging community members to contact legislators and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 406 and House Bill 823.

The Republicans’ extreme proposals would dismantle public education by causing public schools to lose hundreds of millions of dollars through the expansion of private school vouchers, exacerbating the state’s teacher shortage and providing no substantive funding for early childhood education and child care. 

Expanding voucher eligibility to any K-12 student will force public schools, especially those in rural and poorer counties, to make steep cuts, leaving schools without the resources to hire enough teachers and support students. 

In FY 2026-27 alone, public schools across the state would be projected to see a decline in state funding of more than $203 million. That number is expected to increase as the proposed voucher expansion ramps up in later years. The proposed expansion would impact counties across the state differently. In FY 2026-27, 31 counties would see a 3% or greater decline in total state funding with an average of $2.9 million loss in state funding.

Governor Cooper has traveled across the state to visit public schools and highlight the series of sweeping legislation pushed by Republican legislators that would choke the life out of public education. The Governor has visited schools in New Hanover, Greene, Buncombe, Wake, Mecklenburg and Alamance Counties.

In a special address, he called on North Carolinians to visit to learn more and contact their legislators to ask them to protect public schools.

Watch the Governor’s address.

Read the Governor’s full remarks

Learn more about North Carolina’s public education emergency.




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