Another Legislative Vacation


The legislature has once again gone on vacation without doing anything for teachers who have started the school year without a state-funded pay raise. Other state employees have been given raises, but teachers have been left with nothing while Republicans refuse to negotiate with Governor Cooper.

98 Days
98 days ago, Governor Cooper and Democrats offered a compromise budget solution that would raise teacher pay by 8.5% - more than double the 3.8% that Republican legislators support. But Republicans have ignored that compromise offer because they’d rather have a budget that is 100 percent their way instead of finding a balanced approach to governing.

Teachers don’t have a raise because Republicans won’t come to the negotiating table. As a reminder, here is more information about the Governor’s compromise offer.

Cooper Hears from Teachers
While the legislature leaves teachers hanging out to dry, Governor Cooper has continued meeting with teachers all over the state. Last week, he was in Asheville. One teacher had this to say to the Asheville Citizen Times about the need for a significant raise:

"I've been teaching 27 years," said Stephanie Knox, academically and intellectually gifted specialist for North Buncombe Elementary. "So my big concern is when I leave, how I'm going to know that somebody is coming behind me. People are not coming up. They don't want to go into teaching because of the pay."

And another educator spoke to WLOS:

"Why would somebody want to go into teaching now," said 25-year teaching veteran Elizabeth Apostolopoulos, she teaches first grade at North Buncombe Elementary.

Comments like that are why Cooper said he's pushing for the raise.

"I heard from some teachers today about how difficult it is for them to make ends meet on a teacher salary," said Cooper.

So What Are They Doing?
Legislators aren’t giving teachers a raise. They aren’t negotiating with the Governor. So what are they doing? Passing mini-budget bills that skirt North Carolinians’ call for compromise and balance in government. Using deceit and trickery to thwart democracy. And this week, taking yet another week off. When will they do their jobs?

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