Statement on the Proposed Senate Budget

The budget unveiled by the Senate yesterday is exactly what we have come to expect from this General Assembly: more political shenanigans, more band-aid approaches to problems, and more blatant disrespect for educators and the communities they serve.

“A budget that gives half-percent pay raises to teachers, and continues to deny our lowest-paid staff $15 an hour, cannot be good for students or educators in North Carolina,” said Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. “Not only does this budget fail to expand Medicaid or restore master’s pay to highly qualified teachers, it completely ignores the needs of retirees who have dedicated their entire career to public school students. This budget fails at nearly every level.”

What makes all of this even more offensive is that this is all done while continuing to slash corporate taxes and adding more than $1 billion to the rainy day fund. By again disinvesting in North Carolina’s students, the Senate is prioritizing short-term political gains over long-term success.

Facts about the Senate budget proposal:

  • Total spending of $23.9 billion for 2019-2021, a 3 percent increase over last biennium budget (same as House)
  • Average 3.5 percent pay raise over two years for teachers, but most will not see that.
  • .5 percent increase for each year of the biennium (totaling only 1 percent increase)
  • $500 bonuses for teachers with 15-24 years of experience. Teachers with 25 years or more get a bonus of $1,000.
  • Note: Bonus pay is not permanent funding, and cannot be used to enhance retirement.
  • ESP’s and Central Office staff get a 1 percent raise each year, (totaling 2 percent over the biennium.)
  • All state employees get raises of 5 percent in two years (on top of already earning $15 an hour) except for non-certified school staff, which get 1 percent raises.