OC Parents Plead For School Funding: “I’ll Pay More”

HILLSBOROUGH- More than a hundred parents, teachers and children squeezed into Thursday’s public hearing on the county budget, while others spilled out into the hallway at the Department of Social Services, waiting for their chance to beg the board of commissioners to spend more on schools. “We’re not asking you for more advantages for our children or more programs for our children,” said Mindy Morton, co-chair of the Smith Middle School Improvement Team. “We just want enough money so that we can keep it the way it is. So please make that a priority and fund our schools.” Nearly three dozen speakers addressed the board, with most warning of dire consequences if Orange County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools lose funding for teaching assistants. Many acknowledged that the proposal to cut more than 4,000 teaching assistant positions statewide comes from state legislators, not county commissioners, but time and again the speakers said it’s up to the county to bridge the funding gap. “If the state legislators de-fund thousands of teaching assistant positions, local school districts across North Carolina will be dealt a very raw deal,” said Julie Tucker, parent of a student at Grady Brown Elementary. “We cannot pass that raw deal on to our children. Not in Orange County.” At issue is the county manager’s recommended budget for next year. While it covers the operational cost for both school...

Read More