NC district cuts teacher pay to provide laptops for students

After making the controversial decision to cut teacher pay and 65 staff members — including 37 teachers — in favor of providing students with a laptop, Mooresville public schools in North Carolina ranks third in test scores and second in graduation rates, the New York Times reports. Three years ago, Superintendent Mark Edwards elected to issue laptops to 4,400 fourth through 12th graders in five schools, using funds that would otherwise have gone to paying teachers. At the time, 73 percent of Mooresville’s students tested proficiently in math, reading and science. Today, that number is up to 89 percent, to complement an 11-percent increase in the district’s graduation rate from 2008-11. These gains have been made possible despite Mooresville ranking 100th out of 115 North Carolina school districts in per-pupil spending at $7,415.89 per year. According to the Times, the new initiative is costing the district just over $1 million

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