Politics & Government

North Carolina could get millions in revamped education bill

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. is pushing for North Carolina to gain an additional $95 million for schools as part of an overhaul of the nation’s K-12 education law.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. is pushing for North Carolina to gain an additional $95 million for schools as part of an overhaul of the nation’s K-12 education law. AP

North Carolina stands to gain an additional $95 million for schools as part of an overhaul of the nation’s K-12 education law.

The Senate approved two amendments introduced by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., that change the formulas used to allocate Title I and Title II funds. North Carolina will receive an additional $72 million in Title I federal dollars to help educate poor children. The Tar Heel state will also receive an additional $23.5 million in Title II funds used for teacher preparation and incentives to help low-income students.

“Under the new formula, all kids in the United States will receive equal treatment across the board and many will see an increase in federal dollars, including those in North Carolina,” Burr said about the Title 1 funds. “I am proud that we’ve finally solved this problem.”

The amendments are part of a larger proposal to overhaul the much-criticized No Child Left Behind law. The new bill, Every Child Achieves Act, passed the Senate 81 to 17 on Thursday. The senators, including Burr, blocked another education amendment championed by Democrats that would have expanded pre-K programs for children of low-and-moderate income families.

Under the new formula, all kids in the United States will receive equal treatment across the board.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Democrats accused Burr of putting millionaires before children. The program would be funded by the scaling back of “corporate inversions,” which lets U.S. firms avoid federal taxes by establishing nominal headquarters overseas.

But Burr spokeswoman Rebecca Watkins said he voted against the pre-K legislation because of the negative impacts it would have on the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which provides grants to help parents obtain child care.

North Carolina, as well as 35 other states and the District of Columbia are expected to see a boost in Title I funding, while 14 states will receive fewer dollars under the current formula. The amendment’s passage came after Burr made some last minute changes due to opposition from Republicans and Democrats whose states expected to suffer the greatest losses.

Under a revised plan, the formula wouldn’t take effect until Congress funds Title I at $17 billion. It would also only apply to the funding in excess of $17 billion. Title I is currently funded at $14.5 billion.

The Title I bill intends to create a fairer system of allocating the money by multiplying the number of poor children by the national costs to educate them. The Title II bill phases out a provision that allowed states that were receiving Title II funds to keep the same level of funds even if their populations were declining.

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