The People's Alliance Education Action Team has submitted the following public comment to the Durham Public Schools Board of Education:
Dear DPS Board Members,
The People’s Alliance Education Action Team supports the superintendent’s recommended budget request of $16.2 million to the Durham Board of County Commissioners as well as the request of the Durham Association of Educators for 50 additional school nurses and counselors at a cost of about $4.5 million. We note that half of the superintendent’s request, $8.1 million, is devoted to anticipated state salary costs and benefits, to fixed costs increases and to charter school requirements. It is a very modest request for basic needs that are not to be supplanted by federal covid relief dollars. In addition, the Education Team supports the request of the Durham Association of Educators for 50 additional school nurses and counselors at a cost of about $4.5 million. It is without debate that the state of NC is supposed to provide such positions in order to meet its constitutional obligations; however, we have seen a gross abdication of this responsibility under General Assemblies dating back to the first rulings under Leandro over 20 years ago. We have graduated thousands of children from DPS schools who have never been provided the resources to reach their full potential. Durham is in the fortunate position to be a community of substantial resources that can afford and has expressed (through overwhelming support of bonds and electing progressive leaders) that we want our children to have such basic resources in every school. We urge the Board of Education to submit a request for $20.6 million to the Durham Board of County Commissioners.