Uncategorized

Gov. McCrory working behind the scenes to fix education budget he signed last week

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office is working with local school superintendents to come up with a fix for two hotly contested budget provisions lawmakers just enacted that would stop funding public schools on the basis of enrollment growth and cut funds to teacher assistants, according to a Lee County Schools superintendent and a lobbyist for the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA).

“We have verbal confirmation from the Governor’s staff that they are concerned with the issue of no longer funding local school districts on the basis of enrollment growth as well as problems with trading teacher positions to fund TAs, and they are asking for budget technical corrections to present to the General Assembly that would fix these issues,” said Katherine Joyce, a lobbyist for NCASA.

Gov. McCrory signed a 260-page budget bill last week that contains a provision that would stop automatically paying for enrollment growth at public schools. The budget also spends $105 million less than what was previously budgeted for teacher assistants, even though McCrory has repeatedly said he was proud to sign a budget that preserves all TA positions.

The two budget provisions force local school districts to plan their budgets in the spring without knowing whether or not the state will pay for increased numbers of students in their schools, making it difficult for principals and superintendents to figure out if they will have the means necessary to hire the teachers and other school personnel they actually need. In addition, the budget cuts teacher assistant funds for local school districts by 22 percent.

Joyce explained to N.C. Policy Watch that NCASA, along with their local superintendents, are engaged in conversations with the Governor’s office to come up with language for a budget technical corrections bill they hope to see taken up by the General Assembly in August that would ensure schools go back to the old system of receiving their budget allotments from the state on the basis of student enrollment growth.

The bill would also allow local districts to use average teacher salaries, instead of beginning teacher salaries, to fund teacher assistant positions—freeing up more funds to save TAs. That fix, said Joyce, would effectively hold districts harmless when it comes to losing TAs and bridge the $105 million funding gap.

“Now we just need the General Assembly to actually come back into a real session and take up a budget technical corrections bill that will make these changes happen,” said Joyce.

Lee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Andy Bryan told the Sanford Herald this weekend that he learned Gov. McCrory plans to ask the legislature to implement corrections to the education budget on August 14.

“The Governor is recommending a technical correction that would allow school districts to receive planning allotments based on growth. As noted earlier, that is a really big issue for school districts and planning,” Dr. Bryan told the Sanford Herald.

In signing the $21.1 billion budget, Gov. McCrory said, “this budget reflects a pragmatic approach to managing taxpayer dollars.” He also said previously that critics of the budget should come up with their own spending plan instead of complaining about it.

This budget reflects a pragmatic and thoughtful approach to managing taxpayer dollars,” – See more at: http://governor.nc.gov/newsroom/press-releases/20140807/governor-signs-211-billion-budget-law#sthash.HXefpdLN.dpuf
This budget reflects a pragmatic and thoughtful approach to managing taxpayer dollars,” – See more at: http://governor.nc.gov/newsroom/press-releases/20140807/governor-signs-211-billion-budget-law#sthash.HXefpdLN.dpuf

Calls to the Governor’s office and his education advisor seeking comment on the possible budget fixes were not returned.

 

6 Comments

  1. david esmay

    August 12, 2014 at 7:24 am

    All part of the McCrory/GOTP’s shoot then aim plan.

  2. Pertains!

    August 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Kudos for not letting pride prevent admitting it was not a workable budget.
    Now if he will look at the tax cuts and admit they benefit the top few at the expense of the rest of us and stop the next round of cuts before NC enters an even more severe recession.

  3. Eilene

    August 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

    “critics of the budget should come up with their own spending plan instead of complaining about it.” Really? 1. I don’t know enough about the state budget to do that. 2. I have my own full-time job to do, and THIS is the job of the legislature and the governor. 3) Even if we give them ideas, they don’t listen because they are too busy punishing the left for shutting them out back in the day. They aren’t interested in what anybody else has to say. This smart-alec statement is exactly why this governor is seen as completely out of touch with his constituents, and is not a very good leader.

  4. Pertains!

    August 12, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I think most have suggested the “plan”to reverse/stop the tax cuts that have left NC cut so deep the state is crippled.
    It is obvious they do not listen to the people who put them in office.

  5. Robin Harden

    August 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    What about what they did to veteran teachers? Those of us who have given the most received the least?

  6. Pertains!

    August 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    We can only hope every one will vote in Nov.
    and support Kay Hagan.
    Can you picture Tillis in DC when he can’t even get along with his own local Republicans!