From an editorial Thursday in the Fayetteville Observer:
Students in Cumberland County public schools won’t have driver education when they return to class later this month.
We hope that’s a temporary setback and not the new normal. It’s a big loss, one that the entire community could pay for in more dangerous roads.
Classes for year-round students have already begun and students on the traditional calendar head back to school in less than three weeks. But lawmakers don’t appear all that interested in settling on a budget for the fiscal year that began five weeks ago. The House and Senate have sharply differing plans for school funding. The Senate budget proposes doing away with both driver ed and teacher assistants.
Given that uncertainty, Cumberland County school officials had to make choices. Administrators say it would be too disruptive to cut teacher assistants from elementary classrooms after school has begun, so they moved the $700,000 that would fund driver education over to pay for those assistants for the school year.
They’re making the right choice, but it will hurt nevertheless. The Senate move to end driver education is a terrible idea that will make our highways more dangerous.