Note: This blog post features a brief from page 22 of our 2018 Facts & Figures publication, contextualizing North Carolina education data with a short description of an historical feature or a critical issue in North Carolina. Read more at www.NCEdFacts.org.
In North Carolina, the state allots teaching positions to each school district based on the number of students in each grade, according to specific ratios set by the General Assembly. The classroom teacher allotment is by far the largest single state allotment; salary and benefits for teaching positions represent approximately 55% of total state support for education. Over the past seven years, the state changed allotment ratios four times, generally decreasing student to teacher ratios in the lower grades, and increasing them in grades 4 through 12.
In 2016, the General Assembly enacted legislation requiring actual average student to teacher ratios in grades K-3 not to exceed the allotment ratios starting in the 2018-19 academic year. This has sparked considerable debate, in part because for the first time since the development of the state’s Basic Educational Program, districts will be required to use the state’s full position allotment to fund classroom teachers. Currently, there is no separate allotment for elementary school art, music, physical education, and world language teachers.