Rob Christensen had a great piece yesterday on just why the Governor and policymakers didn’t raise teacher pay and claim to not have the funds to do more than their modest proposal that impacts just a third of teachers. The tax cuts passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor have reduced the availability of revenue for teacher pay raises, state employee pay raises and a whole host of other important investments that could strengthen the state economy.
McCrory said he would like to give a larger pay raise to teachers – and to other state employees as well – and may recommend doing so if money becomes available.
As a rationale for not giving larger raises, McCrory cited cost overruns in Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor.
But to govern is to choose. McCrory ran for governor in 2012 on the platform of cutting taxes, not raising teacher salaries.
And coming out of the recession last year, McCrory and GOP lawmakers made tax cuts rather than teacher raises the priority.
Of course, policymakers have the ability to ensure money is available for these important investments. They could stop further income tax rate reductions from going into effect in 2015.