The State Board of Education and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction have requested more than $190 million to expand funding for public education over the next three years to address priorities officials think have been neglected.
The SBE and NCDPI hope to send the budget to Gov. Roy Cooper by Nov. 24 for approval. Cooper will then send his budget recommendations to the General Assembly, according to Cecilia Holden, legislative director for the State Board of Education.
The revised budget contains additional funding to school support staff such as nurses and counselors, provides increases to teacher pay and allows the state to phase in regional support to assist local school systems.
“I think it's fair to say that the student is always the first thing that we keep in mind," Holden said. "In looking at all the budget priorities, student achievement and school safety continue to be the key factors that drive all budget decisions."
One of the largest items in the budget consists of more than $688 million in funding to be spent over the next eight to 10 years for school resource officers, nurses, psychologists, counselors and social workers. If the budget is adopted, school support positions would make up $71.5 million of next year’s total — about 38 percent.