: It's been 44 days since Governor Roy Cooper and Democratic leaders presented a balanced compromise budget offer that included a robust teacher pay raise. Since then, Republican leaders have refused to negotiate leaving teachers without a state pay raise so far this year.
Yesterday, Governor Cooper met with teachers in Raleigh and visited a school to meet with teachers in Pender County to talk about the importance of a significant teacher pay raise to stay competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent for the classroom. Governor Cooper's proposed 8.5% teacher pay raise is more than double what Republicans included in their budget.
But after 44 days, Republican leaders still haven't responded to Governor Cooper's compromise offer. Where is the Republican counteroffer?
From the Associated Press
story on Gov. Cooper's teacher roundtable:
- But Cooper also has said the GOP measure didn't do enough for education salaries and spending, blaming the shortages upon the additional corporate tax reductions in the Republican budget for scaling back some revenues. He heard from educators lamenting the lack of pay increases for veteran teachers in recent years and the lack of funds for classroom materials and textbooks.
- Cooper talked up his latest salary offer - an average 8.5% raise over two years for teachers, which is more than double the average raises that are included in the GOP's budget proposal. All teachers would get a raise under Cooper's plan.
- "If you're going to start a negotiation and the other side says, 'I won't talk to you until you take your No. 1 issue off the table and out of the equation,' what kind of negotiation is that?" Cooper asked. "If they don't want Medicaid expansion in their counteroffer, don't put Medicaid expansion in your counteroffer. But they have done nothing.
At the second teacher roundtable, a counselor in Pender County expressed encouragement that Governor Cooper is pushing for Medicaid expansion in addition to a teacher pay raise. From the Wilmington Star News
- Burdette, who is the only counselor for Penderlea's 525 students, participated in the discussion and was particularly encouraged by the governor's push for Medicaid expansion. She said they have run into roadblocks when trying to get students in touch with Coastal Horizons therapists who work in the schools and see students who might need more attention.
- An expansion of Medicaid to more families would help make that easier, she said.
- "When I hear that, I feel better because (those students) need more than what I can provide on a daily basis," she told Cooper.
Governor Cooper's compromise offer can be found HERE
. It would close the health care coverage gap, raise teacher pay, cut taxes for people and guarantee school construction while balancing the budget and saving money in the Rainy Day Fund.
- Contact: Ford Porter