State in gridlock on education budget

Gov. Pat McCrory is weighing in on the budget battle in the General Assembly, offering some criticism for Senators in his own Republican party.

The Senate’s budget includes an 11 percent teacher raise, but makes cuts in funding for teacher’s assistants and to Medicaid to pay for it. McCrory said the raise is unrealistic and unsustainable long-term.

“As governor, I’m going to speak out on items that I disagree with. I believe in a more long-term pay plan for teachers; not only that the state-wide taxpayers can afford, but also that the counties can afford. The teachers seem to agree with us.”

McCrory made similar comments at an education cabinet meeting Wednesday. Senate Republicans walked out of a budget meeting after the House asked educators to speak at the meeting. McCrory said that the Senate should be listening to educators, not walking out on them.

Senate Republicans offered a sixth budget offer Thursday that maintains an 11 percent pay raise for public school teachers, while offering more than $171 million for the House to earmark toward their top priorities of Medicaid and teacher assistants.