Tillis: Manning should run for legislature

As the first day of hearings on school budget cuts wrapped up, Speaker Tillis defended the GOP-crafted budget.

Posted Updated

Laura Leslie

Judge Howard Manning just wrapped up the first day of a hearing on the effects of next year's budget cuts on education in North Carolina. One witness after another took the stand to say the cuts will do lasting damage to schools and the students that rely on them - especially those in low-wealth counties that don't have local money to fall back on.

Manning is trying to ascertain whether the budget cuts will violate Leandro, a state Supreme Court ruling that holds the state responsible for ensuring low-income students have the same access as wealthier students to a "sound, basic education" under the state constitution.  

House Speaker Thom Tillis issued the following statement in response to today's proceedings: 

“If Judge Manning wants to vote on the budget, he should run for office as a legislator. While I respect his opinion on judicial matters, it appears that this is an attempt to literally legislate from the bench. I respectfully disagree with his conclusions; our education budget is only 0.5% different from the Governor’s, and it protects classroom funding, including every teacher and teacher assistant position in the state.”
On the stand today, Cumberland County Associate Superintendent Ricky Lopes testified his district has had to cut more than 100 teaching assistant positions as a direct result of the state budget. The hearing resumes at 10am Thursday. We'll be livestreaming it here at WRAL.com. You can find today's archived video here.  

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