: It's been 49 days since Governor Roy Cooper shared a balanced budget compromise offer to Republican legislators. And for 49 days, Republican leaders have avoided negotiations by trying to override the Governor's veto and suggesting a series of mini budgets instead of a single spending plan.
Where is the Republican counteroffer?
Republican stalling means many teachers start a new school year this week without a state pay raise. Governor Cooper's compromise offer includes a teacher pay raise that is more than twice as big as the Republican budget (8.5% v. 3.8%). The Republican proposal is not enough to stay competitive with recent pay raises in neighboring states. A significant raise is needed to help attract and retain more high-quality educators.
An editorial from NCAE President Mark Jewell
points out that Republicans have been "dithering over trivial matters and trying to score political points"
instead of negotiating with the Governor:
- "Of the five legislative priorities we put forth on May 1, not a single one was adequately addressed in the final budget. Not school safety priorities, not teacher retention initiatives, and not basic issues of salary parity were addressed. And it is for those reasons that we stand with Governor Cooper in his decision to veto that budget. The governor's budget showed that real, sustained investment in public education can be done in a financially responsible way, and we know that reality is still possible...
- ...Educators all over North Carolina are going back to their classrooms and work locations to begin a new school year. They were expecting to have a new state budget in place that would increase investments in student achievements and success. From the basics of education, such as textbooks, curriculum materials, and basic classroom supplies, to more school psychologists, counselors and school nurses, all of these needs continue to go unmet, and all because Republican lawmakers refuse to negotiate with the governor.
- Educators, by our very nature, are patient people. But there is only so much patience we can have with the General Assembly when it comes to the well-being of our students. Lawmakers have wasted most of the summer dithering over trivial matters and trying to score political points, rather than doing the work they were sent there to do. Just as we remind the student who has procrastinated in doing their book report, North Carolina lawmakers need to be reminded of a fundamental schoolhouse rule: credit will not be given for late work."
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