Today should be like any other day as children and teachers return to school: reunite with friends, new classes and new challenges, and another teacher pay raise. What's different about today is that Governor Cooper has decided to hold teacher pay raises and increased education funding hostage over an ultimatum: expand Medicaid or else.
"Education is the top priority in the bipartisan budget passed by the House and Senate. Unfortunately Governor Cooper has decided to play political games with education funding by vetoing this important legislation,"
stated North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley. "It is very disappointing that the Governor has decided that impressing his out-of-state campaign donors is more important than getting much needed funding into North Carolina's classrooms."
The budget contains nearly $4.4 billion for school construction and addresses classroom supplies, school safety, and funding for free lunches. Further demonstrating his disdain for school choice, Cooper admitted on Education Matters that he wanted to eliminate the Opportunity Scholarship program. This past week, nearly 50 days since Cooper decided to hold the budget hostage, he vetoed the "Read To Achieve" legislation that was written in part and supported by his handpicked nominee for the State Board of Education. Oddly enough, the "ineffective" program remains in place because of his veto.
- Contact: Jeff Hauser