The Tar Heel State is known for its elite universites, both public and private. But what about North Carolina's primary and secondary public schools? What good are elite in-state universities if North Carolina's high school students are not ready to perform in a collegiate academic setting? In order for public schools to produce college-ready and career-ready graduates, advocates contend, North Carolina must invest in teachers and in students themselves.
In 2010, North Carolina was one of only twelve states to receive $400 million in federal educational funding through the Race to the Top program. It is difficult, however, to observe the immediate effects of this sudden influx of capital. In 2013, North Carolina ranked 46th among states in teacher pay, and from 2002-2012, average teacher pay dropped 16%. Vouchers to attract the best teachers to underperforming schools went largely unused.
Technology has a place in the classrooms of today and of the future. With the necessity to utilize technology, however, comes a financial cost. Will having to pay for computers in the classroom conflict with other budgetary needs like increasing teacher salaries in order to attract the best teachers to North Carolina?