Per-student spending gap grows in state
The gap in funding for public schools between the most affluent and poorest counties in North Carolina is “stark and growing,” a new study says.
The 10 counties spending the most spent $3,026 on average per student, compared to $710 spent by the 10 counties that spent the least, says the 2017 Local School Finance Study from the Public School Forum of North Carolina.
Orange County, which spends the most, spent 12 times more per student than Swain County, which spends the least, the study says.
In 2014-15, it says, the 10 counties that spend the most spent 4.26 times more per child than the 10 counties that spend the least.
That same year, the study says, the 10 poorest counties taxed themselves at nearly double the rate of the 10 wealthiest counties, yet because of he disparity in real-estate wealth capacity, the revenue the poorest counties could generate at higher tax rates was substantially lower than what the wealthiest counties could generate at lower rates.
“The poorest counties continue to raise their tax rates, while the wealthiest counties lower theirs, and yet the substantial revenue disparity persists,” the Public School Forum says.
On average, it says, the counties that spend the most increased their spending by 3.8 percent more per child this year than last year, or $110 more per student, while the counties that spend the least increased their average spending per student by 0.8 percent, or $5 per student.
North Carolina law gives the state the responsibility to pay for instructional expenses, including personnel, while county governments pay for capital expenses, including building and grounds, except for statewide bond referenda or other state spending.
Yet the state now pays two percent of capital expenses, with local spending accounting for 98 percent, the Public School Forum says, while counties now are funding 18.8 percent of positions for principals and assistant principals; 6.5 percent of teachers; 11.8 percent of teacher assistants; and 20.9 percent of professional instructional support personnel.
High Point University getting $5 million
The School of Education at High Point University is getting $5 million from Robert “Bob” Stout, retired president of Steel Bar Corp. in Greensboro, and his wife Maggie Stout.
To be renamed for the donors, the Stout School of Education offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary, middle-grades, secondary education, special, and science, technology, engineering and math education, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership.
John Rex Endowment gives $1.1 million
John Rex Endowment in Raleigh awarded grants totaling $764,418 Wake County Public School System and $270,792 to Youth Thrive to support positive mental health in Wake County, and $70,000 to the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to put into effect a safe-environments program in six pediatric clinics in Wake County.
Heart Math Tutoring awarded $350,000
Heart Math Tutoring in Charlotte received a $350,000 multi-year grant from The Leon Levine Foundation that will fund a new full-time position dedicated to recruiting and supporting volunteers.
Read and Feed receives $50,000
Read and Feed in Cary received $50,000 from the Carolina Hurricanes’ Kids ‘N Community Foundation.
Wake Salvation Army opens second Family Store
The Salvation Army is opening its a Family Store at 4025 Wake Forest Rd. in Raleigh.
Proceeds from sales and donations at the store, its second in Wake County, directly support The Salvation Army’s food pantry, family shelter, community center, and outreach programs for survivors of human trafficking and children experiencing homelessness.
Interior work completed on ArtsGreensboro facility
ArtsGreensboro has completed work on the interior of the new Van Dyke Performance Space, including installation of new permanent and flexible seating.
The new facility for performing arts, events and entertainment facility, with a seating capacity of 250 to 400 or more under different configurations, was developed through a collaborative partnership between the City of Greensboro and ArtsGreensboro, and a $1 million gift from Jan Van Dyke, artistic director of Dance Project.
Center for Volunteer Caregiving to host event
The Center for Volunteer Caregiving in Cary will host its 2017 Red Carpet Rendezvous, celebrating celebrating 25 years of service to the community, on April 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the N.C. State University Club in Raleigh.
Dog event to benefit Sergei Foundation
The Sergei Foundation will host the Fourth Annual Triad Dog Games on May 20 and 21 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.
Funds raised at the event will support the Foundation’s mission to save companion pets’ lives by providing veterinary financial assistance to families unable to afford emergency, life-saving care.
Heart Association creates board
The American Heart Association has named its first Triad board of directors.
Board president is Allison Brashear, chair of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, while Thomas Boothby, Triad market managing partner for Dixon Hughes Goodman, is board chairman, and David H. Wagner, director of the Student Health Center at N.C. A&T State University, is president-elect.
5K events to benefit local nonprofits
Twin City Track Club, Brenner Families in Training, and Girls on the Run Triad will receive proceeds from Beat the Heat 5K, an event the Track Club will host July 22 starting at 6:30 p.m., with Cook Medical as presenting sponsor.
Rescue Ranch building playground for kids of all abilities
Rescue Ranch, an animal-welfare nonprofit founded by Krissie Newman and her husband, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, has broken ground on a 10,000-square-foot playground in Statesville that will be fully inclusive for children with all abilities and the first of its kind in Iredell County.
Event to benefit firefighters group
Little City Brewing and Provisions Company and Heat fitness studios — both located near the fire on March 16 that destroyed an apartment building under construction — will host a fundraiser workout on April 2 benefitting the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association.