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Board of Education chairman worries about budget cuts

Posted June 24, 2008
Updated June 25, 2008

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— Howard Lee, chairman of the State Board of Education, warned Tuesday that state lawmakers could dramatically cut his budget, hurting teachers.

"I want you to be aware. I wanted you to share my misery,” Lee told Board of Education members.

House and Senate negotiators are still working through details of a compromise budget for state government.

The budget for diesel fuel for school buses is $30 million short of projected needs, and teacher bonuses are nearly $40 million less, Lee said.

"I don't want to declare doom at this point, but I did want to sound an alarm” to school districts around the state, Lee said.

More than 200 members of the State Employees Association of North Carolina also rallied Tuesday over the budget.

Both House and Senate spending plans offered average 3 percent raises for teachers. Other state employees would receive either a 2.75 percent pay raise or an $1,100 bonus, whichever is greater.

Association executive director Dana Cope said raising the state employee percentage to 3 percent would show that the General Assembly respects all state workers.

Cope said the price tag to raise the percentage and provide the bonus is about $30 million.

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  • whatelseisnew Jun 27, 2008

    He could convince me his concern is genuine by telling the state his position is not needed and they could use the money saved on his salary in the classroom. Why is it people in Government positions have this attitude, that in tight times, the Government should not have to tighten its belt? With the billions upon billions that are poured into education, this man ought to be talking about how he has figured out a way to save a couple of those billions instead of whining.