"April Surprise" May Torpedo Tillis / McCrory's Miserly Teacher Pay Plan
RALEIGH - Just two months after pledging to raise salaries for new teachers, Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis, and Senate President Phil Berger are facing a revenue shortfall after recklessly cutting taxes last year for corporations and the wealthy. Predictably, they are already pedaling another "Medicaid charade" as an excuse to deny raises for teachers if there is a revenue shortfall. In fact, the state is likely to lose more revenue from the reckless tax-cuts than it may pay for Medicaid cost overruns.
WRAL-TV on Wednesday, April 9th quoted a Tillis staffer saying, "Raises beyond the (teacher pay raise) plan we announced in February are contingent on Medicaid cost overruns and revenues." What Gov. McCrory, Speaker Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger predictably refuse to acknowledge is that their tax-cuts for corporations and the wealthy will cost the state $2.4-BILLION over five years. This after Gov. McCrory declared in his first State of the State Address in February of 2013 that tax reform "must be revenue neutral." Yet again, McCrory is not living up to his original words, as this "tax reform" was clearly not "revenue neutral."
"When teachers are coming to school board meetings to describe second jobs of scrubbing toilets to make ends meet, it's no wonder Gov. McCrory and Speaker Tillis would rather not mention their tax-cut giveaways to corporations and the wealthy," said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina. "But this tired 'Medicaid charade' is a distraction from the real reason the state is struggling to raise our teachers' pay. On the McCrory / Tillis agenda, tax cuts for the wealthy come first. Our public schools are second fiddle, and the message to teachers is 'keep scrubbing.'"
North Carolina teacher pay ranks 46th in the nation among states.