Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory's budget would allow school districts to opt out of a controversial teacher pay plan imposed by lawmakers last year.
The measure requires school districts to offer raises to 25 percent of their top performing teachers. In exchange, those teachers would surrender their tenure rights.
Two Superior Court judges have already ruled that the provision is likely unconstitutional.
McCrory's budget language would go further. School districts would have the option of whether to offer the pay-for-tenure deals or wait until state courts and state lawmakers have revised the provisions.
"The governor has said all along there were some issues implementing this," said McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis.
McCrory and the leaders of the House and Senate are Republicans; however, they don't see eye-to-eye on all issues. The teacher pay plan has been one of the signature policy issues put forward by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
Senate Republicans are scheduled to hold a news conference rolling out their own changes to education at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Over the past several weeks, top Senate Republicans have stood behind the deal that McCrory now wants to make optional.
"This is a product of listening to superintendents," Ellis said of the governor's proposal.
The little-noticed provision changes only a few words, converting the word "shall" to "may" in four different places in the current state law.
While the governor gets to propose a budget, Senate and House leaders will write their own versions of a plan before reconciling the three drafts. The Senate is due to publish its full budget plan Wednesday afternoon or evening.