McCrory: Stop-gap teacher pay plan deserves vote

Posted July 1, 2014

NC Legislative Building

— Gov. Pat McCrory says lawmakers and members of his administration are making progress on a budget deal, but he added Tuesday morning that he was disappointed senators blocked a partial spending plan that would have given teachers 5 percent pay raises. 

"We're actually having very good discussions with some of the leadership at this point in time," McCrory said.

North Carolina's fiscal year ended Monday. The state is not in a shutdown because lawmakers passed a two-year budget last year. However, coming into this session, both McCrory and legislative leaders said the state needed to address some key priorities. Among the most pressing is the push to give educators pay raises, part of an effort to keep teachers from leaving the public school system. 

During his comments Tuesday, McCrory praised House Speaker Thom Tillis, once again taking sides in an intramural tussle between the House and the Senate. 

The biggest sticking point between the two chambers is how much money will be needed to fund the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled. During an interview Monday, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said he did not believe either the House or governor's budget set aside enough money{{/a}} to fund the program, which has seen perennial cost overruns. 

To try and break this budget stalemate, the McCrory administration and the House crafted a "mini-budget" that handled raising teacher pay but largely left questions about Medicaid unanswered. The Senate refused to even hear the bill Monday night, returning the measure to the House without a vote or even much debate. 

McCrory said he was dismayed by that move. 

"All senators and all House members deserve the opportunity to vote on very important pieces of legislation. We shouldn't be playing parliamentary maneuvers to disallow senators from having a transparent and open vote," McCrory said.

He said the so-called "mini-budget" is a good plan because it allows school systems to plan for the upcoming year without sacrificing other key priorities.

In their budget, senators gave teachers a larger pay raise than either the House or governor, but they would have curtailed Medicaid spending and fired teaching assistants to do it.

"I'm very pleased to have Speaker Tillis' support and the Democrats' and Republicans' in the House's support in a unanimous vote to give a teachers a pay raise but not at the expense of teacher assistants and Medicaid payments to the disabled and the elderly and Alzheimer's patients. That's something I will not sacrifice," McCrory said.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Justin Smith Jul 1, 2014
    user avatar

    "regular" state employees also have the ability to move up within their respective departments to acheive pay increases whereas teachers don't have that option, unless they go into administration. (and then they aren't teachers anymore)

  • iopsyc Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The string that you speak of is removal of career status and that seems like a pretty big string to me. It's understandable that teachers would not be thrilled with that proposal.

  • WralCensorsAreBias Jul 1, 2014

    "deserves vote"?

    Why? Teachers wouldn't be happy with it if you doubled it and gave it to them yesterday. I say skip it and move on.

    "LOOK, we are gong to get banged with tax increase,"

    Another reason to skip it. If this passes yes, we will be hammered for another tax hike. When you couple that with the highway trust funds going away NC citizens, all of us, should expect up to a 30-40% tax hike across the board by this time next year.

    Hope you can afford it because you don't get a say.

  • recontwice Jul 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Teachers were a part of the Moral Monday protest!!

  • Centurian Jul 1, 2014

    It's funny that some are so jaded that when Gov. McCrory and Speaker Tillis offer lucrative teacher pay raises with few strings attached, they can't accept that they're getting what was requested by the NCAE and instead cast doubts on the facts are they are presented.

  • dubious Jul 1, 2014

    This three-ring circus almost - almost - makes me feel the teeniest-bit sorry for Art Pope. He spends a fortune buying a Republican super-majority in the Legislature only to find out the Senate old-timers like Rucho, Apodaca and Berger won't play ball. They don't care that Karl Rove has made Thom Tillis the anointed one. As for Mayor McClueless, well, bless his heart.

  • Stacie Hagwood Jul 1, 2014
    user avatar

    Pat, don't even TRY to pretend you support teachers. Tillis, either. It is all a game at this point.

  • Edward Levy Jul 1, 2014
    user avatar

    LOOK, we are gong to get banged with tax increase, so lets get the raise through. Our teachers deserve it. INDEPENDENT VOTER How coe the moral monday group is not leading the charge on this one?

  • Eq Videri Jul 1, 2014
    user avatar

    You shouldn't have snubbed the Senate then, Pat.

  • Richard Eskridge Jul 1, 2014
    user avatar

    I don't like any of these people. We have a budget. It ain't a great budget. But, cutting services elsewhere to give teachers and possibly state employees a raise is never a good idea.

    We also have a major storm bearing down on the state. Never heard of a major storm at this time of year. Makes me wonder what the rest of the season has in store. Seems like cleanup due to coastal storms might be expensive this year.