Editorial: Lawmakers Work, We Pay
So for the budget crisis that has lasted more than two months has cost taxpayers over $2 million dollars and has left thousands of educators in the dark. The Greenville Daily Reflector highlights the damage the budget crisis is causing to local schools in a scathing editorial.
A compromise offer this week between state senators and the N.C. House would restore funding for teacher assistants and driver’s education. Although the offer includes some political elbowing, it would be a preferable path to a state budget that is less harmful to public education, and public safety.
The political stalemate in Raleigh, now in its third month of extended negotiations, must look to unfamiliar visitors like a two-party budget battle and not one in which Republicans hold all majority votes. Democrats had their share of budget stalemates while in control, but state Republicans did gain power on promises to make state government more efficient.
They plan on keeping up the effort through Labor Day.
In the name of efficiency, the original Senate Plan would cut about 5,000 elementary school teacher assistants and eliminate funding for driver’s education. The House plan wants to maintain funding levels in both areas, while Gov. Pat McCrory is now advocating for keeping driver’s education and funding teachers and teacher assistants at or above the current budget’s levels.
Maintaining funding for teacher assistants would be welcome news in Pitt County, where 25 of those positions were eliminated before the new school year began last month. Although the school system has been in limbo on that and many other funding issues while lawmakers debate the budget, more teacher assistant cuts have been anticipated.