McCrory signs $21.1B state budget bill

Posted August 7, 2014

— Five weeks after the beginning of the fiscal year, Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday signed into law the state's $21.1 billion budget bill that was approved by lawmakers last week.

The 260-page measure includes a $1,000 raise for most rank-and-file state workers, and teachers will get a raise that legislative leaders say amounts, on average, to 7 percent, including longevity pay that many teachers were already due.

Actual raises will range from less than 1 percent to more than 18 percent, depending on how long a teacher has been in the profession. 

The budget also factors in a supplement for board-certified teachers and continues a pay bump for teachers with master's degrees and those who began work toward an advanced degree by Aug. 1, 2013. 

State retirees will receive a 1 percent cost-of-living increase under the compromise plan. 

The budget moves the State Bureau of Investigation from the Department of Justice, which is overseen by Attorney General Roy Cooper, to the Department of Public Safety, which is overseen by a McCrory appointee. However, Cooper will retain oversight of the State Crime Lab.

McCrory said Thursday that the deal fulfills promises made by Republican leaders.

"North Carolina is on the comeback, and I’m proud of that comeback, and I’m proud of the state employees, and I’m proud of the teachers that have been part of this process," the governor said at the signing ceremony. "We’re rewarding them for the first time in many years in a sufficient and effective way. We’re showing them respect while also understanding some of the challenges that we still have in the private sector and recognizing their hard work also." 

He defended the deal against critics who've questioned the teacher and state employee pay raises and the cuts made in other areas to pay for them.

"There are a lot of people who voted against this bill," he said. "They thought a better job could be done, but the fact of the matter is, I asked the critics, 'Where has been your alternative budget?' I would have welcomed that alternative budget.

"I ask you the question as we had to ask the legislature in many, many discussions: When you add something to the budget, what are you going to take away or what tax increases are you going to implement?" he said. 

"As governor, I also have to be sensitive to the private sector," he continued. "The private sector employs many in manufacturing and travel and tourism and agriculture and professions – even including journalism – who are not getting these types of pay raises, who do not have pensions, who do not have the benefits we have and that have never heard of the term 'longevity pay,' which is still in place in the state of North Carolina." 

McCrory took a very specific dig at North Carolina Association of Educators President Rodney Ellis, who's been a vocal critic of the changes in teacher pay and longevity bonuses. 

"The head of the current teachers' union continues to criticize this budget, even though his salary, I assume, is much higher than any teacher in North Carolina," McCrory said.    

Asked whether that was true, NCAE spokeswoman Linda Powell declined to confirm it.  

“The salaries of NCAE leadership are determined by NCAE’s governing documents, which are adopted by elected member representatives. The salaries reflect the responsibilities and obligations expected of these offices,” Powell said in an emailed statement.

Those documents are not open to the public, she said. 

McCrory also noted that the budget includes no reductions in Medicaid eligibility for current enrollees and said it maintains last year's funding for teachers and teacher assistants, although there are more students in North Carolina classrooms this year than last.  

However, several large school districts have already announced they will have to eliminate teacher assistant positions to balance their books due to other cuts in state funding for schools.


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  • aecaldwell1 Aug 8, 2014

    When a teacher put on a vest and work 12 hour with a gun and badge on they will understand what a state law enforcement officers and all of the retired state law enforcement having the oversight to keep them safe at night. Maybe one day Gov. McCrory will see that the State of North Carolina has other state workers from DOC, DOT,and other state works not just teachers. VOTE 2016.Due process has failed other state works.

  • f1nsup Aug 8, 2014

    I am not a liar. I have 16 years of teaching experience and only 2 years of teaching in NC. Therefore, I did not qualify for tenure in this state and why it is important for teachers who have tenure to keep it. So please know all of the facts before calling names. To make matters worse for this state, I am a secondary science teacher also certified in exceptional children. I know the demand and need for people like me. I have reached out to my legislators, the gov. and other agencies. Since I don't qualify for tenure, I have no rights to fight it. All of my representatives have ignored my emails and phone calls. I am on my way to Texas this weekend where I start my new job on Monday. Due process is given to every employee regardless of experience. I have interviewed with several news outlets regarding my situation. I have nothing to hide and my former district was Nash-Rocky Mount (who just hired PR for $85,000).

  • 678devilish Aug 8, 2014

    Posted by arfamr1009

    She knows what happen to her and you was not there.

  • elkerster Aug 8, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Oh if it's true it's certainly not right. I am not there nor am I a teacher so I really can't speak to whether it's true or not but I was trying to point out that someone shouldn't be calling someone a liar based on incorrect "facts". Many assume that tenure mean you cannot be fired every which is completely incorrect.

  • 678devilish Aug 8, 2014

    Elkerster, love your comment, but it did not make sense to let you go with all that experience and hire some new teacher with little. That was not right.

  • elkerster Aug 8, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Having tenure in NC does not mean you cannot be let go or fired, it just means they have a process to follow. Maybe you should learn your facts before calling someone a liar.

  • f1nsup Aug 7, 2014

    As a teacher, well now former NC teacher, I lost my job at the end of this year due to this budget. My school system says I make too much money due to experience and will be replaced by a beginning teacher in order to balance the school system's budget. I had great evaluations and worked in a difficult school. I also had to work two jobs, but I "make too much money"? The "raise" for experienced teachers is an insult. Experience and quality are not respected in NC.

  • Matt Wood Aug 7, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    If you make so much money that you pay $70K in taxes, you have no right to play the victim.

    I'm sure you're struggling to make ends meet! /sarcasm

  • Matt Wood Aug 7, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Wow. Would you sign a contract without reading it? Because that's basically what you're advocating. He puts his signature on that, he has to OWN it, and I certainly wouldn't want responsibility for signing a piece of paper I hadn't read. And I bet you're the type that likes to parrot, "we have to pass it before we know what's in it!"

  • Grand Union Aug 7, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Been hearing that tale since Bush 1....and its been downhill ever since. Taxes are far lower now than they were in the 1990s and yet only one group has prospered....the rich who got almost all those cuts.