House, Senate budgets have big differences on education

Posted June 7, 2013
Updated June 10, 2013

— Two years ago, the House and Senate were so much in sync that they didn't even need to have a formal conference committee to settle differences over the budget.

This year? Not so much. 

State House leaders rolled out big pieces of their budget proposal Friday morning, and there are major differences between the two chambers.

The education budget provides a good example of the type of battle lines being drawn. 

When the Senate passed its budget, it included language that would end career status for teachers.

Senators have proposed changing the so-called "teacher tenure" system to one that would see teachers sign contracts of between one and three years. Educator groups have objected to that system, saying it gives teachers too little certainty about their long-term prospects. 

A House proposal takes a different approach, creating a system of probationary and non-probationary status for teachers that is viewed more favorably by teacher groups. 

The House put its teacher evaluation system in its version of the budget.

"We're apparently a long way apart," said Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union, a co-chairman of the House budget subcommittee on education. 

The House budget also contains large pieces of the House's school safety bill, including a grant program to provide more school resource officers.


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  • ljohnson247 Jun 10, 2013

    Sorry it's H-589

  • ljohnson247 Jun 10, 2013

    Sounds a lot like H-588, Voter ID, tired their best last year knowing it would not pass, but vote them back in and it would be the first thing this year. Where is it now, sitting in committee since 4/25/2013. Pass the bill or your bags and go home. Will not get my vote in 2014. Read one sentence in the bill that I feel you will use not to pass the bill. People, keep an eye on this. The majority of the voters would like this bill passed, that mirrors DEMS and REPS. Let the reps know how you feel, they are up there for you

  • mercy Jun 9, 2013

    you get what you voted for

  • Plenty Coups Jun 7, 2013

    Well said miseem.

  • miseem Jun 7, 2013

    It's all those unionized, incompetent teachers that can't be fired and are paid way too much that are holding North Carolina back from leading the nation in educational success. So here's the deal. Abolish teachers unions in NC (since there aren't any anyway), pay them at the average teacher salary nationwide (instead of 48th), come up with a reasonable merit pay system and actually give some of them merit raises instead of giving a lot of lip service to firing most of them, use the systems in place now to get rid of incompetent teachers. But most of all, give them some respect for putting up with all these right wingers that think they are in it only for the money. Then, I think we will have a deal.

  • Confucius say Jun 7, 2013

    One of the most basic principles of society is to educate the children so that they are able to lead the country into the future. It's a shame that the funding to do so is governed by political parties that rarely see eye-to-eye on issues. While they bicker about money and fight for control, the students suffer...and we will all suffer in the future. Education should be at or near the top of the list of what to spend tax money on. Instead, it gets the crumbs.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 7, 2013

    Common conservative excuses as to why they can't fund higher teacher pay.

    Excuse one: "I don't support teacher unions!"

    A ridiculous excuse being that there are no teacher unions in NC and most teachers don't even belong to NCAE.

    2." I support paying the "good teachers" but I don't want to pay the "bad teachers"."

    Evidence based on what conservatives have actually done and continue to do show this to be a complete lie. They have never even proposed any real merit pay system though they are removing tenure. Should every job never give a pay raise until every bad worker has been removed?

    3. "The state is broke"

    Another lie. The General Assembly has almost 800 million in unspent revenue but wants to use it to cut taxes...again.

    4. "More money doesn't mean better results."

    I wonder if we could apply this ridiculous logic to every profession in America. No more raises because it doesn't necessarily mean better and happier workers.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 7, 2013

    werewolfwoman-"Unfortunately under the current system, too many incompetent teachers are protected by tenure, and not held accountable."

    Based on what evidence? I'm sure teachers would gladly give up tenure for higher pay.

    "Why should they not be treated like the others employees in the state with yearly evaluation determining whether EACH teacher should be given a raise."

    I'm sure they'd go for this as well. Unfortunately the General Assembly has frozen their pay since 2008 and have given them net pay decreases since then as well as cut their benefits.

    "i wish the organization I worked for automatically gave a raise to everyone!"

    But your organization probably doesn't get funded by tax dollars. Teachers can't go to their principal and ask for a raise. They depend on the state government deciding to fund them. Right now, NC state government hasn't been funding any type of teacher pay raise for years. This is entirely opposite of what has happened in the private sector.

  • tmac24duke Jun 7, 2013

    Thankfully, they've proposed reinstating the Teaching Fellows program--one of the few incentives for entering the profession. However, they still want to do away with higher pay for higher education. We are already one of the lowest paid professions for the level of education we have. Way to encourage lifelong learning, NC Legislators! Investing in education to make it an attractive profession where the best college students WANT to enter the profession will be the only way to save our classrooms and our society. Beating teachers further into the ground and ensuring anyone with any other career option will chose it is NOT the way to improve the system. Treating teachers as the professionals they are and paying them as such is a much better way! The cost of an ignorant society that is government dependent will far outweigh today's investment in public education.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 7, 2013

    "So as long as teachers support the currect union based system..."

    You do know that NCAE isn't a union, that it is voluntary, that most teachers don't belong to it, that it can't collectively bargain or go onstrike, and that republicans NEVER vote for meaningful raises and benefits for teachers?