Local News

Easley Targets Education in Latest Budget Plan

Posted February 22, 2007
Updated February 23, 2007

— Gov. Mike Easley's $20 billion budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year released Thursday increases state spending by more than $1 billion over the current budget.

The heart of the budget covers public education with $11.6 billlion going toward public schools, community colleges, and universities -- nearly an 8 percent increase over this year.

"In North Carolina we place a premium on hard work and it should pay off for our people," said Easley. "Making college more accessible to hard-working students, making high school more relevant and challenging, and making sure low income families can keep their hard-earned dollars for basic needs are North Carolina values."

As Easley mentioned in his State-of-the-State address, Easley wants to create an "EARN" scholarship program where low- and moderate-income students can get a college degree debt-free.

Under the proposed budget, teachers would be in line for an average 5 percent pay raise. The governor proposes a 2.5 percent pay hike for the rest of state workers.

The budget would increase state transportation maintenance funding for a total of $935 million. Easley wants to inject more than $10 million into the court system to pay for new prosecutors, judges and technology.

As far as taxes, the budget would eliminate or reduce state income tax for more than 1 million low-income residents. However, a sales tax hike that was supposed to expire this year would stay in place.

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • trunkmonkee1971 Mar 4, 2007

    I am all for teachers getting a pay raise of 5%. Heck, they need to throw in some healty incentives as well. If we are paying our teachers below the national average somehting is wrong. There are alot of good potential and ex tachers that work in the private sector now due to no respect and low pay. I have worked for the state before, I know how it is but teachers should have priority now.

  • biooya Feb 27, 2007

    Yeah, you missed the boat Think_people. Now try to imagine how much I care about your opinion on anything.

  • Think_people Feb 26, 2007

    Did I miss something? Because one person who says they are a state employee and they say that ALL government employees are lazy it must be true. I will reinterate to biooya that not everyone has worked for the state forever. And again I ask if you don't want to give the employees a raise think about what it would do. Such as when people like myself who do care about the state and do work hard get tired of the nonsense, and go back to the non government private sector. I am truely aware of how things work in the state. Unless you have worked both private and government I feel your opinion is just that a opinion. Be able to give a true basis before you pass judgement.

  • biooya Feb 23, 2007

    Looks like pitomite sure stepped into by telling people the truth about what his work environment is like. Sure brought out the chest thumpers talking about how they've been with the state a gazillion years, how they love their job, what a great place it is to work and how hard they work. After reading some of these responses, sounds like pitomite may have uncovered some more Dix Hill candidates.

  • Think_people Feb 23, 2007

    Pitomite, not sure what office you work in. But not everyone is like what you discribe. If you are as aware of things you should already know this. And I guess I would ask why you even work in a "lazy place" Everyone else,
    Why is it that when the Gov. says what he wants to do the first thing is that the different groups start degrading each other. Remember, you can't make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor. Do I think the teachers should get a higher raise then the rest of the state... NO, but that does not mean I will say bad things about them either. And yes I am a state employee. I worked in the private sector for many years, the problems of "lazy people" exist in all areas, not just government. And to say "well all state personnel is bad", so lets not pay them more.. Well don't really understand that one. Government is government. Yes it is not for profit, and yes there is issues with it at times. But pay is what keep good people.

  • pink lady Feb 23, 2007

    So, pitomite, what are your work ethics, since you're so quick to assume that state employees don't work and don't deserve the little pay that we do get.....

  • HadEnough Feb 23, 2007

    I forgot who said this "government employment was created for the otherwise unemployable" , but the more I think about it the more I see the wisdom in the statement.

  • packandcanesfan Feb 23, 2007

    pitomite your take on things is not the same in every office. I have worked for the State for a long time and in my experience people work hard. Most offices are short-staffed and let's face it, we don't have the best equipment. Some equipment is outdated or just plain wornout. I have had positions where another employee's position was abolished in a "reorganization" and I ended with another position without one penny more. Please don't lump all State employees together because of your bad experience.

  • plmbgold Feb 22, 2007

    Don't do it! Do not short change our children any more than they already are. I know this is a high growth area...the state wants the lottery to do well...but do not take any more money from the schools and our children!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • biooya Feb 22, 2007

    I can't speak for the teachers, but I came from private industry to work for the state a few years back. From what I've seen so far of worker output from state employees, they are being overpaid. In my department if they aren't out taking a their third of fourth 15 min smoke break of the day, then they are off eating somewhere or warming something up in the microwave to eat (eating is a big thing where I work), or they are having a family reunion in their office that produces a noise level that can wake the dead (or those sleeping at their desks). I won't try to address the mental cases where I work. I'm not talking about a patient either. I'm referring to the employees. Some of them are prime candidates for Dix Hill (or should I say Butner now?). Sorry folks, but I haven't seen many who deserve what they get paid now let alone something more.