NCAE's Fight to Fund Schools First Yields Results in Tough Budget Year

Jun 30, 2010, 17:15 ET from North Carolina Association of Educators

2010 Budget Saves Jobs, Puts K-12 Public Education First

RALEIGH, N.C., June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement can be attributed to Sheri Strickland, NCAE president, in response to the final budget passed by the General Assembly today and signed by Governor Bev Perdue this afternoon:

"I applaud the Legislature for stepping up to the challenge and passing a budget that will keep educators working and makes public education funding a priority. The General Assembly heard our message to fund schools first and made smart choices in tough times. Cutting back on athletic scholarships in favor of academics and using lottery money to keep teachers in the classroom are two examples of how members of the General Assembly set the right priorities.

"As president of the largest education association in North Carolina, I think this vote is also a testament to our members who rallied, lobbied, spoke up and showed up, to say 'cuts hurt students.' It's their voices -- as educators who want to continue to help children succeed and who could describe the impact of cuts on our children --  that really made the difference and got elected leaders to understand that K-12 education is important to the future of our state.  

"But even with victory at the state level, NCAE will continue to be vigilant to ensure that the General Assembly's work is not undermined at the local or federal levels. More challenges are ahead with the potential for jobs loss by decisions made in individual school districts. Federal money for Medicaid is critical, or we may be looking at job losses in education later on. We have the tools in this budget to protect jobs in public education, and local elected leaders need to apply this budget correctly to fulfill its intent to save jobs.

"So while we generally feel positive about today's adopted and signed budget, we are not pulling back. The fight to ensure no job losses for educators continues until we know that this budget will be properly implemented in every school district in North Carolina."

NCAE is the state's largest education association, representing nearly 60,000 active, retired and student members.

SOURCE North Carolina Association of Educators