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Debate on school funds may impact area systems
June 05, 2006  Show stories from this reporter
By Barry Smith  Show stories from this date


Easley, Senate at odds over millons of dollars


RALEIGH — A battle could be brewing within the education community over how tens of millions of tax dollars will be spent over the next year.

The issue boils down to how about $42 million in extra money will be used. Will it go to what are called “low wealth” school districts — districts that have a more difficult time coming up with local funds to pay for school programs because they’re in counties that have low economic property tax bases? Or will the money be used to eliminate “discretionary” cuts that the school systems have made in recent years?

Gov. Mike Easley recommended $41.2 million be used to go to low-wealth systems, a effort geared toward helping the state meet its obligations in the Leandro school lawsuit. In that lawsuit, the courts have ruled that every child in North Carolina is entitled to a “sound basic education.”  

Supporters of using the money to help the low-wealth counties see the appropriation as a means of fulfilling the Leandro legal requirements.

“Leandro said we’ve got to help the Hoke counties and Jones Counties, these low-wealth counties,” said Brian Lewis, executive director of the Covenant   with North Carolina’s Children.  


The Wilmington Journal


The Wilmington Journal
Originally posted 5/30/2006

Improving education; enhancing economic opportunity for low-wealth communities; increasing the minimum wage; and aggressively addressing health and housing disparities among communities of color.

Highlights of the POC 2006 Legislative Agenda include:
Fully funding and implementing a statewide plan to ensure that every child in North Carolina receive a “sound basic education,” as mandated by the state Constitution.

Reducing the high suspension and dropout rates of student of color.

Extend in-state tuition status to immigrant resident graduate of in-state high schools.

Designate a portion of state lottery proceeds to help close the achievement gap and lift low-performing schools.

Increase funding for state’s historically Black colleges and universities.