Horn will chair school funding committee

Dec. 21, 2012 @ 07:04 PM

Rep. Craig Horn has been appointed chairman of the N.C. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.

The announcement was made by House Speaker Tom Tillis on Wednesday. As chairman, Horn has influence over writing the state's education budget, which makes up about 60 percent of North Carolina's annual spending. He is in his second term in the house.

The appointment is overwhelming and a little scary, Horn said. But he is excited to begin finding ways to improve education even in the face of challenging economic times.

"The first thing I plan to do is what I always do first," he said. "Shut up and listen."

He plans to meet with school superintendents, community college officials, school board members and others who work in education, he said.

"Undoubtedly, we agree that technology, education and our society are undergoing a huge change," Horn said. "I want to translate that change into an action for improving education."

Among some of his early ideas is a change in how schools are funded. Right now, how much each school receives from the state government is based on the number of students.

"But where is the reward in that? Where is the incentive?" Horn said. "I want to change school funding so there is a motivation for schools to excel."

Unlike some legislators pessimistic about education's future in the state, Horn said he is excited to have an impact on so many young minds.

"I think it's an incredible opportunity and I take it very seriously," he said.