• McCrory's proposed budget includes raises for some teachers

    By: Jim Bradley


    RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Pat McCrory presented his budget proposal Thursday, which included pay raises for some teachers, but not all state employees.
    “We've had to make some tough choices in this budget, " McCrory said.  “We are investing in the areas that will have the biggest impact on the citizens of North Carolina."

    What to know: Highlights of McCrory's budget

    •    No tax increases are proposed.
    •    Proposed budget grows more slowly than inflation and population remaining well below the statutory cap.
    •    Strengthening and enhancing reserves in excess of $650 million will support our position as one of only 10 states with a Triple A bond rating from all three major rating agencies:
    •    Allocates an additional $47 million to the Savings Reserve Account, bringing the total balance to $698 million.
    •    Provides $47 million for the Repairs and Renovations Account to maintain state infrastructure.
    •    Establishes a new Medicaid Risk Reserve fund at $175 million over the biennium to provide a buffer against inevitable uncertainty in one of our biggest cost drivers.
    •    Budget assumes enactment of a cut in the gasoline tax from 37.5 to 35 cents per gallon.

    The governor's budget plan calls for spending roughly $500 million to raise base pay for new teachers from $33,000 to $35,000 per year.
    Experienced teachers will have to compete over a much smaller pot of money.
    The McCrory budget proposal allocates $15 million over two years for school systems to use for merit raises for some experienced teachers.
    “It's allowing the principals and superintendents to make those decisions on where best to put that money,” he said.
    The budget plan does not include an across the board pay hike for all state employees.
    It does include pay raises for state troopers and for corrections officers in state prisons.
    The governor called his plan “visionary,” as he presented it in Raleigh.  He will head across the state to sell it to North Carolina residents.
    Political expert Michael Bitzer said with it being a year before a re-election campaign, there's a lot on the line for McCrory.
    “He wants to get as many checks in the ‘win’ column so that he can go back to the voters next year and say 'Look at what I've been able to accomplish,’” Bitzer said.

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