NC Governor's Call On K-12 Spending Surprises Some

Gov. Beverly Perdue wants to increase per-pupil spending in public schools even though North Carolina faces a projected $3 billion budget gap for next year.

She gave few details during her State of the State speech Monday, and some legislators suggest it could require tax increases or deep cuts elsewhere. But a combination of federal stimulus cash and a one-year quirk in the state kindergarten cut-off date could make the pronouncement doable.

Perdue's office said Tuesday it would provide more information when her budget proposal is released next week.

She has access to at least $1.4 billion in federal stimulus funds for public education. Plus, school enrollment is expected to drop under a state law that moves up the birthday cut-off for incoming kindergartners. Perdue also reduced some public school spending this year.

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