In the process for setting the state budget, it is customary for the NCGA House to release its version and then the NCGA Senate to release its version. The governor also releases his version – this year it was in March.
And then they spend the rest of the session trying to come to a version that all are willing to sign – that is if there is not a veto-proof majority as it has been for the last few years. In fact, last year in an effort to stave off public discourse, debate, and amendments to the previous biennial budget, Phil Berger and Tim Moore passed the budget through committee.
A veto-proof majority allowed them to go “nuclear” with the budget process.
Tim Moore and Phil Berger may lead different chambers of the NCGA, but that does not mean they do not work together and that is especially seen in the original House budget released this past April 30th, literally right before the May 1st march and rally in Raleigh by teachers and public school advocates.
Look at the highlights as reported by U.S. News and World Report of that proposed budget.
House Republicans said average teacher pay would rise 4.8% this fall under their proposal, with a particular emphasis on the most experienced teachers. In previous years under GOP rule, state budgets have emphasized raising pay for new teachers and later middle-career teachers. But veteran teachers have not fared as well.
Rep. Jeffrey Elmore of Wilkes County, a public school teacher, said older teachers in rural areas are retiring because of the trailing salaries, making it harder to recruit replacements. According to Elmore, a 30-year-teacher who currently receives a $52,000 base salary would receive $60,500 in the budget proposal.
The plan will “keep our promise to reward veteran educators who have spent decades in the classroom,” Moore said.
The House budget would restore a 10% increase in pay for holding a master’s degree. It was phased out earlier this decade. The plan also includes the ability for teachers to received $4,000 signing bonuses if they agree to teach in rural and low-wealth districts, Elmore said.
That budget was simply released to try and quell teacher disappointment and disapproval of how both chambers have treated public education in the last eight years.
And that budget proposal included items that Moore & Co. would have never followed through on.
- Master’s pay?
- Helping veteran teachers?
- Helping recruit newer teachers to low-wealth districts and rural counties?
Currently, there is a sustained veto on the budget that was sent to the governor’s desk. If one was to look at that Senate / House budget and compare it to the one released by the House on April 30th, then it is clear that the House leaders never had any intention to fight for the things they were floating to teachers last April.