Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.