BIG CITY SCHOOL BUDGET SURPLUSES AND SALES TAX ALLOCATION

Some resource starved North Carolina counties haven’t built a new school since Jim Valvano and the Wolfpack beat Phi Slamma Jamma for the National Championship.

Meanwhile, some big urban districts are sitting on large fund balances while furiously lobbying against the very idea of splitting sales tax dollars 50/50 between population and point of sale. (Incidentally, sales taxes were split 50/50 until 2007 when the Legislature shifted the allocation to favor urban, shopping center counties with a new 75/25 allocation, 75 point of sale, 25 population.)

So take a look at fund balances amassed by urban schools.

Wake County Board of Education: $101 million (wcpss.net)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education: $94 million (www.cms.k12.nc.us)

Buncombe County Board of Education: $34 million (www.buncombe.k12.nc.us)

Those fund balances aren’t too shabby. No wonder Charlotte can spend millions on parks without competitive bidding. Buncombe can blow $48 million adding 7 new floors to the Social Services bureaucracy’s building and the RTP can satiate its Charlotte envy spending millions on light rail. (Asheville Citizen-Times) (WBTV)

And far from the booming cities, there are rural counties who haven’t been able to build a new school since 1983.

Legislators ignore the needs of rural and suburban counties at their own peril.