Public Education Steering Committee

Public Education

2023-2024 Public Education Legislative Goals

Seek additional revenue sources to address statewide public school and community college capital needs and ensure methods used to distribute school capital funding considers the needs of both low-wealth and growing counties. Revisions to the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund that will allow for more access to counties and allow for faster school construction to include allowing projects that have not previously been awarded a grant to commence and remain eligible for future grant application periods. 

Support legislation to provide exceptions to the K-3 class size mandate including but not limited to lack of school facility space and availability of qualified teachers.

Support legislation that promotes education attainment and career and college readiness by increasing funding for apprenticeship and internship programs, trade certification, and workforce development programs, as well as increased student support services in public schools with a focus on dropout prevention and an increase in the
dropout age.

Support increased funding to aid counties in implementing school security measures.

Support school calendar policy that promotes optimal student outcomes and best meets the needs of local communities.

Support funding to provide all public school students with an excellent education, including investments to assist communities in eliminating achievement disparities including:

  • Expanding teaching assistant allotments to fund assistants in all K-3 classrooms.
  • Provide full state funding for state mandated exceptional student services.

Committee Schedule

View the steering committee meeting schedule

NCACC Public Education Services Committee Guiding Principles

State and county responsibility for public education should be clearly set in state policy and statute, and should recognize the following:

  • The impact of changing technologies on basic educational needs and the job market of the future.
  • The impact of any changes on the facility needs of local school systems.
  • The need for county commissioners to have the authority to make sure funds appropriated for school facility needs are used accordingly.
  • The challenges faced by counties in balancing changes in school populations with insufficient county revenues.
  • The need for county commissioners to have the authority to address extraordinary circumstances such as natural disasters, public health crises, and other emergencies.

Taxing authority for local public education should be vested exclusively with boards of county commissioners.

The state should define and support an adequate sound basic education for every student in all local school systems and should appropriate adequate operating revenue to fully fund its education initiatives.

Effective classroom technologies and innovations should be available to all public schools and community colleges.

North Carolina’s community colleges are critical components of the state’s integrated efforts to prepare youth and adults for constructive participation in a constantly changing economy.

Early education is a critical component for student success in North Carolina’s education system.

County Funding of Public Schools

Basic of County Funding of Public Schools

  • North Carolina has a unique governing and financing structure for public education. This white paper describes the different roles that counties have in funding public schools
  • Article from 1958 to the Committee for the Study of Public School Finance regarding counties’ ability to meet public school capital demands and supplement current expense (PDF)
  • Visual of the N.C. Public School Partnership timeline.
  • CountyQuarterly Article on Senator Brown from Spring 2017 Issue.
  • CountyQuarterly Article on School Funding from Winter 2017 Issue.

PowerPoint Presentation on Public School Capital Funding
To view this presentation, click here.

Public School Fund Balances

Unlike local governments that levy property tax, such as counties, local school systems do not need to keep a large fund balance because they receive their funding from both the state and county in monthly increments. Data from the Local Government Commission and NC DPI show the fund balance held by each school district last year (need updated link).

https://youtu.be/Q2NVHQyiKbg

Video replay of the The N.C. Public School Partnership Workshop from 2016 NCACC Annual Conference


How School Funding Agreements Impact the County-School Board Partnership

Gordon Wilder, NCACC Public Education Steering Committee Chair explains how Boards of County Commissioners and Boards of Education use agreements (or formulas) to determine annual school system funding, providing consistency and a foundation for discussions.

NCACC’s Pursuit to End Litigation Over County Appropriations for School Capital

by Paige Worsham, NCACC Associate General Counsel
CountyQuarterly, August 2019

Steering Committee Membership

Steering Committee membership is open to all county commissioners, as well as county staff who specialize in committee-related fields. If you would like to join a Steering Committee, please complete this sign-up form and join us for a meeting.