Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Bev Perdue hasn't given up on her bid to get more money into the state's public education budget, despite the fact the General Assembly has over-ridden her budget veto, packed their bags and closed up shop for the year.
On Thursday, Perdue sent a letter to House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger asking that they help her push Congress to pass a new stimulus bill that includes money for public school teachers.
"I remain concerned that under the new budget, schools across North Carolina will receive approximately $190 million less next year than they received this year," Perdue wrote. "The fact that even fewer resources will go towards education next year as compared to this year is particularly troubling when you consider that this year, schools were forced to cut 915 teachers, more than 2,000 teacher assistants, and nearly 5,000 total education jobs."
Perdue said the federal government could stave off further layoffs through a second round of EduJobs funding.
Berger and Tillis did not bite. Republicans have been reluctant to embrace "one-time" federal spending for recurring costs, such as teacher salaries.
However, in their response to Perdue, the top Republican legislative leaders took a different tact and said they prefer another bill with another approach to stimulating the economy.
"H.R. 3606 would increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies," the two leaders write. They also point out that it has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, at least in the House. The same cannot be said of the stimulus bill.
It's worth pointing out that H.R. 3606 would do nothing immediately for schools, but one assumes in the long-run a healthier economy would mean more state tax revenue and therefore more funding for public education.