Republicans Tout Education Accomplishments: Sound Budgets, School Choice, Accountability

SHELBY – North Carolina Republican lawmakers have taken a beating by Leftist activists and Leftist media for years on the issue of education, despite the overwhelming evidence that the majority has done more since 2011 to invest in and better education than any Democratic legislature before it.

Speaker Tim Moore wrote in the Shelby Star about the finer points of the collective Republican education endeavors this decade as they gear up to make their case for retaining super-majorities in 2018.

The North Carolina General Assembly is implementing meaningful public school reforms that are popular with parents and students because they focus on families’ shared priority of improving student achievement.

Changes already in effect include four consecutive teacher pay raises, an improved approach to state education funding, a successful Read to Achieve literacy program and expanded school choice for low-income families.

Today, the North Carolina legislature remains committed to fundamental education reforms through new initiatives to lower class sizes and provide assistance to struggling schools with an Innovative School District.

Our education leaders believe meaningful reforms – policies that empower students to work towards a successful future – are critical to accelerate classroom learning in our state’s public schools.

Higher Teacher and Principal Pay

Thanks to four consecutive pay raises for North Carolina teachers, the statewide average salary is $50,000 while starting teachers earn $35,000.

This year, we had the fastest growing teacher pay in the nation since 2014.

We enacted teacher bonus opportunities, reestablished the N.C. Teaching Fellows program and expanded the Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Program to recruit and retain our state’s best educators.

North Carolina’s principals and assistant principals will also see their salaries go up by 8.6% and 13.4%, respectively, over the next two years.

Better Budgets

Since 2011 the Republican-led North Carolina legislature has erased billions of dollars of debt and deficits and stored a record savings reserve to secure our state’s financial well-being.

With a balanced budget process in place, North Carolina increased education spending substantially this decade. We’ve invested more than a billion additional dollars into public schools, including tens of millions of additional dollars for textbooks and digital resources.

We’re working to streamline those additional tax dollars directly into classrooms and provide budget flexibility for local school systems to help meet their students’ needs.

More Options

With better compensated teachers and an improved budget process, North Carolina now has a platform to help more low-income families attend a school of their choice.

Through opportunity scholarships and increased education options like charter schools and virtual schools, North Carolina is building dynamic school systems with diverse choices for families who need them most.

These programs have strong bipartisan support in the General Assembly because they benefit parents and students, who have filled enrollment waiting lists for increasingly popular education options. […]”

Read more about why Republican policies are better for education in Speaker Moore’s Op-Ed here.

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