Wilkes County Teacher Says Cooper’s Veto has Cost Local Education Non-Profit Key Positions, Funding

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, the only public school teacher currently serving in the North Carolina Legislature, expressed his disappointment today after hearing reports that a local after school organization had to layoff their executive director and other key roles because of budget shortfalls. 

The organization, Communities in Schools of Northwest North Carolina, has been a staple in Wilkes County since 1983. The Non-profit helps meet the needs of at-risk students with the goal of long term success and high school graduation. Instructors provided students with one-on-one attention necessary to keep students from falling behind in their classes. Because the state is operating without a 2019-20 budget, the important education non-profit has been operating with a limited budget. CIS’s bank account was overdrawn and several integral members of their team were let go. The cuts will be devastating to the community that has depended on CIS and their services for many years.

This disheartening news is the direct result of Governor Cooper’s veto of the state budget. The organization has patiently waited for funding that never came. In response to the news, Chairman Elmore released the following statement:

Communities in Schools serves at-risk students in my school district who depend on the education nonprofit for their successful growth, and the harm that the Governor’s veto caused this organization and its stakeholders has our community deeply concerned for those kids. There is real harm in education from the Governor’s veto games; he is holding up capital projects, he is blocking pay raises, he has delayed a new School of Science and Math in Morganton, and now is hurting nonprofits that serve students who depend on that support.

This is just one of the organizations that has felt the sting of Cooper’s partisan antics. His political gamesmanship has impacted countless at-risk students and will have repercussions far beyond this fiscal year.