Viewpoint

N.C.’s flunking grade

From an editorial Thursday in the (Greensboro) News & Record:

State Republican lawmakers, who are so fond of “accountability” that they’ve mandated a letter grade for each public school, got report cards of their own last week.

A new national study from The Education Law Center gives North Carolina an F for not spending on K-12 education what it can and should invest.

Further, the annual report ranks North Carolina 46th in the nation in its overall spending on public schools. Small wonder. Even as the state has gradually begun to increase school spending, it still languishes below pre-recession levels.

The report used four key measures: overall state and local funding; spending on high-poverty schools versus wealthy ones; attendance at public schools versus private schools; and “effort,” or each state’s spending on schools versus its ability to spend, based on gross state product.

To lawmakers’ credit, they did raise teacher salaries — though little, if any, for veteran teachers. And they have funneled more money to the poorest schools. But those slices for the needy still come from a smaller overall pie.

Meanwhile, Gov. Pat McCrory continues to cite public education as part of a “Carolina Comeback.”

Somebody, obviously, is grading on a curve.

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