Quantcast

Budget cuts mean students will pay more for driver's ed - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Budget cuts mean students will pay more for driver's ed

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -

It's a rite of passage for teenagers: taking driver's education classes so they can one day get their license and sit confidently behind the wheel.

"It gives me a sense of independence and control of something," says 14-year-old Kaitlyn Meeks. "It makes me feel grown up."

The program used to be free, but now driver's ed is more expensive than ever for students in our state. Over the past few years, the General Assembly has consistently chipped away millions from its funding.

"Driver's ed, along with a lot of things in education, seems to have a target on its back," says Mark Smith, director of the North Carolina Driving School in Winterville.  

The latest budget cut another $1.7 million. That means resources like technology and textbooks are limited, and many school systems are now choosing to charge students as much as $55 for the course.

"At some point, it becomes a deterrent," says Ron Butler, the Pitt County driver's education coordinator. "Can you have that child properly trained or do you delay them getting a driver's license?"  

Butler says Pitt County has managed to keep its driver's education fees capped at $40 this year.

But instructor Marcus Whichard says he doesn't know how much longer that will last if the cuts continue.

"A lot of them don't have the money," Whichard says. "They're on constraints right now with their own budgets and a lot of them cannot truly afford just that little bit. A lot of them can't afford lunch money."

Butler says at this rate, he predicts our state is moving closer to privatizing the program.

 

  • Most Recent SlideshowsMore>>

  • A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:33:30 GMT
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
  • Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:02:20 GMT
    Southern California is seeing the kind of epic surf usually associated with Hawaii or Tahiti. Beaches are thronged with wave riders and crowds are coming to watch the action even as seaside communities try to stave...
    High surf generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific rolled onto Southern California beaches again Thursday, showing signs of diminishing but still bringing warnings of possible property damage and dangerous...
  • Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:09:08 GMT
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the...
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history...
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.