Gov. McCrory’s statement to lawmakers as they adjourned the special legislative veto session gives conservatives a few things to think about.
The just completed budget was a banner year for those committed to true education reform. However, the governor sounds like someone who is less than thrilled with the outcome.
Too much education policy was slipped into the budget bill causing serious concerns especially from our teachers and educators. Executive branch concerns over long-term operational costs were ignored by passing bills with good intentions but unintended consequences, and overriding vetoes on drug testing and immigration.
The statement begs the question: If McCrory had significant reservations with provisions in the budget, why did he sign the legislation?
In an attempt to address one of his education problem areas McCrory also announced in the statement that he “found” $10 million in funds and he is urging the State Board of Education to use it ensure 3,000 individuals currently pursuing masters degrees will receive the pay differential when they graduate. The state budget included provisions to end payment of the masters differential for teachers. (For more on the problems with providing pay differentials for masters students, see here). The Governor’s action circumvents the will the legislature and I suspect some may question the legality of the actions. I’m no attorney, but how is it possible for the Governor to re-appropriate public funds for a purpose contrary to legislative intent? You have to wonder what Republican legislators are thinking.
Finally, the governor’s statement also included language restating his commitment to providing “testing relief for teachers by reducing the number of standardized tests, creating a local control option for our local education systems to innovate.” Those are two goals I fully support. However the Governor’s support for Common Core standards works against these goals and will make reductions in standardized testing and enhanced local control merely nice things to talk about.