The state Senate originally cut most of the money that paid for teacher assistants in public schools. Governor Beverly Perdue said that budget drastically cut education funds and there was a hint of a veto. Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis announced today there was a compromise between the House and Senate on new version of the budget.
They moved some money around, expected more savings from a growing economy and postponed indvidual tax cuts to set aside $240 million to fund the teacher assistant positions. Senator Berger told a press conference the budget keeps three pledges made by Republicans in the recent elections:
As Senator Berger was making the announcement Governor Perdue released another statement condemning the compromise.
“I am taking a close look at the Senate budget, but at first glance it raises enormous concerns. With regard to education funding, the proposed budget appears to be a charade. While the Senate claims to protect teaching positions, they are actually forcing local school districts to make substantial layoffs of education personnel to the tune of more than a quarter billion dollars – meaning thousands of teachers and teaching assistants will be cut. It also appears to take a devastating toll on early education and higher education.
“Instead of taking the responsible course of extending a portion of the sales tax to pay for critical education needs, the Senate seems to have continued to pursue an ideologically driven effort to unnecessarily defund education and other crucial programs.”
House Speaker Tillis said there is bipartisan support from five Democrats in the House and there’s not that much difference between the Governor’s budget numbers and those of the legislative spending plan:
The new budget was sent back to committees to approve the changes. It will be back on the Senate floor this week and then over to the House for concurrence. Senator Berger said he hopes to have a budget handed to the Governor by Saturday.