The NC House voted, 114-0, Thursday to restore the ability of local schools to flexibility use their classroom teacher funding to hire non-core subject teachers in areas like physical education, art and music. Elementary classroom sizes, on paper, can differ from a local classrooms actual headcount. Some classes are larger than the required 21 student average w some being smaller – local schools determine class size within a range. If a school can comfortably teach larger classes, then few teachers are needed in the core classroom but the funding was kept steady, creating extra cash that was often used to hire PE, art and music teachers – who are considered “non-core.” The state budget law is scheduled to direct funds only to core classrooms and only for up to 18 students per class. Local schools tell both parties this hard funding cap will require them to build new classrooms and hire new “core” classroom teachers while leaving them to struggle with paying music and art teachers. Macon County Representative Kevin Corbin tells us what the four mountain county school district leaders are telling him about restoring the flexibility that could be gone soon.
Wake County Rep. Gayle Adcock breaks down the potential effect of the 2017 budget should public schools not be allowed to spend classroom funds outside the core classroom and if the funding is tied directly to each student rather than to an average class size.
While there were zero “No” votes on House Bill 13, House Democratic Leader, Rep. Darren Jackson, says state budgets should transparently fund all teaching positions instead requiring local schools to shift excess “core” classroom funding.
House Bill 13 heads to the Senate.