Gov. Perdue today issued the following statement regarding her plan for the future of North Carolina schools.
"Education has always been part of the fabric of who we are as a people in North Carolina and it's the key to our future. We must stop the deep and unnecessary cuts that are going on in North Carolina's schools. That's why I'm for temporarily restoring three-quarters of the one-cent sales tax that the Republican-controlled General Assembly eliminated and for dedicating those funds to North Carolina schools.
I have cut spending to eliminate waste and make government more efficient. But we cannot allow the legislature's extreme education cuts to continue. The North Carolina Association of School Administrators pointed out recently that North Carolina has fallen to 49th in the nation in per-pupil funding. The legislature's budget has hurt education at all levels -- from pre-k all the way through higher education -- and has led to higher class sizes and the loss of thousands of teacher and teaching assistant positions. And their budget forces even more teacher layoffs next year -- we must act to prevent these additional cuts.
Our children's future is so important that today, I want to let you know that when I present my budget this spring, I will once again call on the Republican-controlled General Assembly to temporarily restore three-quarters of the one-cent sales tax as a vital step to funding our schools. Also, in the days ahead I will be speaking with you about other budgetary matters that affect North Carolina families.
Education is the key to our children's future and to North Carolina's economic future. Investing in education is central to our ability to attract new jobs and businesses to our state. We owe it to our children and our state to stop these cuts and make education a priority again -- a fraction of a penny for progress."