10.03.16

Funding For Low-Income Students Increases Across NC This Week Via Burr Legislation

WASHINGTON — Legislation authored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) that increases K-12 education funding for schools serving low-income children will take effect this week, increasing federal funding to every school district in the state. Senator Burr’s amendment to the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 will add $24 million in yearly Title II education funding for North Carolina, with low-income students seeing a significant increase of 47 percent in education funding. The nonpartisan Congressional Resource Service (CRS) notes that without the Burr legislation, funding in the state would have held steady.

“This week, education funding to help children from low-income families takes effect. This means 500 additional teachers for the state of North Carolina – an average of five more teachers per county in our state,” said Senator Burr. “For too long, North Carolina’s schools and students were being shortchanged, while wealthier states received more than their fair share of federal dollars. I was proud to write legislation that is finally bringing fairness to federal education funding. Our children are the future of North Carolina, and they represent the best of us. I will continue to be an avid defender of North Carolina students in the Senate.”

Background:

Last December, the Senate passed, and the president signed into law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan education bill that fixed No Child Left Behind, ended Common Core, and restored control of K-12 education back to those closest to the children: parents, teachers, principals and local school boards. Thanks to ESSA, North Carolina's hardworking classroom teachers will no longer be judged by a distant bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.

Senator Burr fought to include a provision in ESSA that fixed an inequity in federal education funding that shortchanged North Carolina’s teachers, schools, and students for 15 years. The Burr funding formula fix will bring an additional $24 million for underprivileged children in North Carolina. School districts will begin receiving the additional funding this week.

Senator Burr’s legislation makes sure that federal education funding that is meant to go to schools that serve low-income families actually goes to those schools. Since 2000, the number of low-income families in North Carolina has grown by 18 percent, compared to 7.6 percent nationally.

Despite these demographic shifts, Title II education funding -- money that was meant to help needier schools in North Carolina -- has been funneled to wealthier schools in Pennsylvania and New York. Senator Burr’s legislation corrected this gross inequality. This week, more education dollars will begin coming to North Carolina, which will mean more teachers in North Carolina helping our students get a great education.

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has released an independent study outlining the positive impact of the amendment on each county in North Carolina. That report can be viewed here.