McCrory's Measly Pay Raises for Teachers Offset By Big Cuts To Universities
RALEIGH - Gov. Pat McCrory’s 2014-2015 budget proposal includes plenty of lip-service to education, but the paltry pay raises proposed for North Carolina teachers fall woefully short of a meaningful investment in our state’s future.
According to the proposal, veteran K-12 teachers would receive a one-time average pay raise of 2%. But teachers and state employees have only gotten a single raise in the past six years. Adjusting for inflation, some of North Carolina’s best and brightest educators have still effectively seen a pay cut. Many other school employees such as teaching assistants will only see a $1,000 pay raise, leaving education pay in the Tar Heel State near the bottom of national salary rankings.
And how would Gov. McCrory and his budget czar, Art Pope, pay for these paltry raises? With cuts to education services — including nearly $50 million from the University of North Carolina system. UNC centers and institutes across the state are being hit with a whopping 20-percent cut, and the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching — which provides professional development for educators —would be shut down entirely.
On top of that, Gov. McCrory is recommending a tuition hike for community colleges.
The budget proposal also cuts more than $120 million from the state Department of Health and Human Service, even in the face of an expected $70 million Medicaid shortfall.
“This is a shell game budget that cuts almost as much from North Carolina’s education services as it claims to add," said Gerrick Brenner, Exec. Director of Progress North Carolina. "After McCrory approved tax changes which end deductions for college savings, now he proposes a budget which will likely force universities to raises tuition. Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers cut taxes for the wealthiest and for corporations, and now they will make college less affordable for working families.