Credibility Crisis: Public School Forum Reveals Why Its Focus on Spending, Not Results, is So Wrong

PSF cites obscure “actual funding effort” rankings, ignores measures of educational progress

By PSF’s logic, NY schools are better than NC’s even though NY ranks lower on every single NAEP score

PSF also discredits itself by saying scholarships for children with disabilities “hinder” state’s educational progress

Raleigh, N.C. — The Public School Forum’s (PSF) op-ed for WRAL is a refreshingly honest take that puts the lie to the notion that public school “advocates” care more about results than money. The group even argues that school choice scholarships for kids with disabilities “hinder” the state’s educational progress.

The group cites an obscure metric from the magazine Education Week of “actual funding effort” to argue that North Carolina “can and must do better for our students.”

Not surprisingly, New York, which spends more per pupil than any state in the country, ranks much higher than North Carolina in Education Week’s funding metrics.

But PSF ignored this fact: While New York spends much more on education per student than North Carolina, New York students score lower than North Carolina students on every single NAEP metric. This holds true across grade levels and academic subjects.

New York students score worse on 4th grade reading, 8th grade reading, 4th grade math, 8th grade math, average scale scores, basic scores, and proficient scores.

Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga), who co-chairs the Senate Education Committee, said, “Judge Howard Manning had it right when he said the Leandro case focuses too much on ‘give me more money, give me more money,’ and PSF confirmed it. They’d rather follow high-spend, low-results states like New York because all they care about is money, not results.”

In PSF’s op-ed, the word “fund” appears five times. The word “result” appears zero times.

While results are more important than dollar signs, Republicans have still made leading investments in public education. Just this year, the National Education Association ranked North Carolina’s K-12 expenditures the fastest-growing in the Southeast and №7 in the entire country. Under Republican leadership, the K-12 authorized budget has increased by $1,748 per student since 2011.

Further discrediting the PSF, the organization cruelly argued that school choice scholarships for children with disabilities “hinder the state’s ability to meet its constitutional obligation” of a good education.

Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) said, “PSF is now targeting school choice scholarships for kids with disabilities. Their crusade against parental school choice knows no bounds. Some children with disabilities can’t get in-person instruction, even though the medical consequences of prohibiting them from the classroom are astronomical. PSF should be ashamed of itself.”

The official Medium account for N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office.

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