House budget, including modest teacher raises, advances to the state Senate

budgetAs expected, leaders in the N.C. House have overwhelmingly approved a $22.2 billion spending plan for the coming year that includes modest teacher pay raises for some.

The House plan passed with some opposition from Democrats in the chamber, but as the N.C. Justice Center’s Tazra Mitchell points out, it comes with many missing progressive “wish-list” items, including restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit, steeper raises for teachers and Medicaid expansion.

Public school advocates have already criticized the teacher pay plan, which offers about an average 4 percent raise to educators, focusing on mid-career teachers.

In addition to teacher pay, public school advocates are also likely to complain that it slashes $27 million promised to help reduce class sizes in first-grade classrooms, and that it strips away accountability provisions from the state’s pilot virtual charter schools, run by for-profit operators.

The budget plan now moves on to the state Senate, which in recent years, has favored more hard-line, conservative spending packages.

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