RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina lawmakers recently passed a new state budget that includes education reforms that would improve teacher quality and expand school choice options for families.
Republican leaders in the state House and Senate recently announced they’ve reached agreement on a $20.6 billion budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year that includes a $23.6 million provision “that scraps the longstanding teacher tenure system in favor of employing educators on contracts that are renewed based on performance reviews,” the Associated Press reports.
“Starting in 2014, it would also set aside $10 million to allow families that meet income guidelines to get state money to pay private school tuition,” the news service reports.
We’re unsure how many private school vouchers $10 million will provide or how the system might work, but it’s certainly a big step in the right direction. The parents of students struggling in failing public schools should be happy the state is opening up new and better educational opportunities.
“Once again, Republicans in the General Assembly have produced a state budget that reduces taxes and right-sizes state government,” House Speaker Thom Tillis said in a statement, according to the AP. “This budget is another crucial step in putting North Carolina’s fiscal house in order.”
The changes are made possible because of Republican control of the House, Senate and governor’s office. Republicans took control of the General Assembly in the 2010 election, and voters elected Republican Gov. Pat McCrory last year.
It’s the first time in over a century Republicans have gained full control over state government, and it appears they’re using their time to make long-overdue changes in education that Democrats and the state’s teachers organizations strongly oppose.
That means they are putting students and their interests first. That’s the way it should be.
By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org