Under the Dome

NCAE to lobby Hagan, congressmen on fiscal cliff negotiations

A state teachers union representative will visit members of North Carolina's congressional delegation as part of an effort to avoid cuts to education spending and to advocate for an end to tax breaks given to the wealthy as negotiations over how to address the so-called fiscal cliff are lingering.

Mark Jewell, vice president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, will meet on Wednesday with Sen. Kay Hagan and Reps. G.K. Butterfield and Larry Kissell – all Democrats – to deliver a simple message: "The state budget for education has grown tighter, and the federal government has had to pick up," he said. "There's nothing left to cut outside of the classroom."

Jewell said he supports the Democratic push for tax breaks given to the wealthy to expire, saying that it's "time for everyone to pay their fair share to help public education."

The National Education Association, of which NCAE is a member, estimates the effects to North Carolina would be harsh:

  • $33.5 million in cuts, affecting nearly 45,000 low-income students;
  • $26.8 million in cuts, affecting nearly 14,000 students with special needs;
  • $14.1 million in cuts, denying nearly 1,700 the proven benefits of Head Start.

Jewell said those cuts specifically would be realized through federal funding provided to schools in low-income communities, programs for children with disabilities, and the Head Start Program.

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