RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Pat McCrory spoke about the budget, with a focus on education, with educators and members of the state House by his side.
The governor said he's heard the concerns on low-teacher pay, but with school beginning again in just a few months, superintendents, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Heath Morrison, are waiting to make budget decisions.
"We are going to trust our Senate, House and governor will come together and craft a budget that will invest in our teachers, have good teacher pay raises, that will not make cuts to K-12 education," Morrison said.
A House appropriations committee passed its new plan, Senate Bill 3, on Wednesday, which focuses mainly on education.
In an email to Channel 9, Rep. Nelson Dollar said: "(It fulfills) the pledge we made to provide much needed raises for teachers and state employees."
Under the House plan, teachers would get an average 5 percent pay raise.
The plan would no longer need state lottery funds, as originally announced.
The raise would be less than the 11 percent teacher raise proposed by the Senate.
The Senate's plan also would cut teacher assistant positions and require teachers to give up tenure.
"The basic fact is there's a difference between the two plans, but both plans, all the plans that were presented, care for education and are making progress in education," McCrory said.
No state senators were at Wednesday’s joint news conference. In a statement, Senate Democratic leader Dan Blue said: "I remain incredulous at Gov. McCrory, Thom Tillis and Senate Republicans' decision to play political games with students, teachers and working people across North Carolina.
"We face an education crisis in this state because of the Republican handouts to millionaires and special interests last year. Instead of solving this crisis and offering a serious plan to raise teacher pay to the national average, we've seen gimmicky proposals that range from the pathetically weak, to the appallingly inhumane, to the downright dishonest.
"Now Gov. McCrory and Thom Tillis have offered a new plan without even consulting the senate leaders required to pass it. These folks chose to run for office - it's time they put their egos aside, hop out of the pocket of the special interests, and get to work."