Letter To The Editor: Competing needs for funding
Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Editor’s Note: This is in response to Dr. Jeff James’ statement on education funding.
A dollar can only fund a dollar of expenditures. Normally when discussing the state budget we address the General Fund (monies that are raised through state income tax, sales taxes and licenses primarily) and not the budget of the state including monies from the federal government and other sources.
In addressing the state budget including monies from the Fed., etc, he is exactly correct about 32 percent is spent on all the various forms of education (K-12, UNC System and community college).
However, Health & Human Resources makes up another 36-38 percent.
Therefore 70 percent of the entire state budget is covered.
If you look at what we have to pay taxes for the General Fund — education makes up over 55 percent of the entire budget and Health & Human Resources another 22 percent or so.
Almost 80 percent of the state budget is spent on these two essential areas.
I do not know how much education needs, but certainly you can’t cut the remaining 20 percent enough to make a significant impact (Justice and Public Safety, Transportation, Natural and Economic Resources, Debt Service and Capital Improvements).
There is only $1 to split among all the needs.
Either efficiencies have to be implemented among all needs or taxes or other sources of revenue obtained.
There is no free lunch and there are many competing needs.
Certainly education is essential, but not the only need.
Allocation has to take place.