According to the Charlotte Observer,
Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt this afternoon sent around a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board. It suggests that most Southern states are increasing spending on education, not cutting it, and that North Carolina is cutting at all levels of education more deeply than other states.
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) states hardly lend themselves to apples to apples comparisons. In their Legislative Report No. 4, for example, SREB researchers credit better-than-average state economies for allowing West Virginia’s and Arkansas to increase K-12 funding. North Carolina’s economy has struggled. These states do not share the same K-12 funding formulas, nor do they necessarily fund their public schools with identical sources of revenue.
On an unrelated note, the SREB points out that “The end of federal recovery funding will have a negligible effect on Arkansas’s budget, as the state previously directed agencies to use stimulus funds only for one-time expenses and not for ongoing operating expenses.” North Carolina’s public schools poured federal stimulus funds into permanent teaching, support, and administrative positions. For those who argue that North Carolina was forced to use over $1 billion in federal funds for teaching positions, I give you Arkansas.