Gov. Pat McCrory often seems a step behind the happenings in the General Assembly. That was true again Tuesday morning as McCrory met with reporters after the Council of State meeting to discuss the budget talks.
McCrory said he supports funding teacher assistants and giving local school systems the flexibility to use the TA funding any way they see fit. He has expressed that sentiment before as a way to settle the differences between the House and Senate budgets.
The Senate budget would eliminate funding for 8,500 TAs over the next two years and use the money to reduce class size in the early grades while the House wants to maintain funding for TAs at its current level after several years of sharp reductions.
The latest Senate offer includes full funding for the TAs but no flexibility for the local schools to shift the money to pay for additional teachers or other classroom needs. The Senate offer also includes cutting funding for some other education programs supported by the House.
McCrory didn’t react to last night’s Senate offer that is creating a buzz at the Legislative Building. So it’s not clear if he supports it or not. Or is aware of it.
McCrory also told reporters that he has been serving as a facilitator for the two sides in the budget dispute.
“I’ve been involved in, more than anything, facilitating two groups that are, at times, in disagreement,” the governor said, “not only between the two bodies but at times even within the two bodies themselves.