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Education is our issue

By Cathy Wright
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Democrats have had control of "Education" in North Carolina and treated it as if it were their sacred cow. Enough is enough! They haven't done a great job, and as far as we're concerned it is OUR issue now.

Despite decades of expanding budgets, are we pleased with the results? Education is generally agreed to be one of the core functions of state government, but our public schools are costly and have yielded poor achievement results. According to education economist Caroline Hoxby, the productivity of public schools in the U.S. (measured by dividing a measure of student achievement by per-pupil spending in inflation-adjusted dollars) has fallen more than 50% in the past 30 years. You may not have children in the school system but here are some education related North Carolina facts and figures that affect us all:

  • North Carolina is 45th in education spending, yet 4th in spending for incarceration.
  • There are approximately 13,000 children in North Carolina with one parent in prison.
  • Children who score poorly in reading in the third grade almost never show improvement by the eighth grade which can lead to a high probability of dropping out of school with poor or no reading skills.
  • North Carolina prison bed preparation and planning is based on 3rd grade projections of failure.
  • Thirty percent of students in North Carolina do not graduate.
  • It is estimated that North Carolina has $169,000,000 per year in lost revenue due to school dropouts.
  • Two-thirds of those entering our Community Colleges need costly remedial education.
  • North Carolina spends @$8500/child in public school and $33,000/prisoner each year.

These are your tax dollars at work. Clearly appropriating more money is not the answer - improving the quality of K-12 education and getting more value for all taxpayers is essential. This is an economic issue.

We need to take on Education as OUR issue - talk about it with your friends and neighbors - ask questions - demand accountability - attend Chatham County School Board meetings - get into the game because it is costing us millions of our tax dollars for questionable results.

Cathy Wright is chairman of the Chatham County Republican party.

 
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