Governor Bev Perdue says Republican legislative leaders who challenged her to debate the merits of her proposed tax hike, should abandon the political stunts and focus on improving education.
The governor told N.C. Policy Watch Wednesday that North Carolinians who may have at one time rejected a fractional tax hike, do not like seeing good teachers laid off, community college classes canceled, or university tuition balloon because of “deep and unnecessary cuts” by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
“I don’t understand leaders who think it’s good for the state to fire teachers. I don’t get that. I don’t get leaders who want to raise tuition by 18%. I don’t get that. It’s the wrong decision for the future on North Carolina,” said the Governor.
Perdue received some critical support Wednesday as 53 mayors issued an open letter backing her call to temporarily raise the sales tax 3/4 of a penny with the new revenue devoted to education.
“The legislature’s budget has hurt education at all levels – from pre-k all the way through higher education – and has led to higher class sizes and the loss of teacher and teaching assistant positions right here in our local schools,” the mayors wrote. “With their budget forcing even more teacher layoffs next year, we must act to prevent these additional cuts.”
North Carolina public schools stand to lose $269 million in 2012-2013 in expiring federal funding and additional cuts built into the next year’s budget.
Governor Perdue appears on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon this weekend to make the case for her plan to raise the state sales tax to restore education funding. To hear a preview of the radio interview, including Perdue’s response to Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis’ challenge for a debate with the governor, click below: