State Budget Negotiators Still At Odds Over Teacher Pay

Jul 11, 2014

Credit Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Budget negotiators in the North Carolina General Assembly are still at odds over how much to raise teacher pay for this fiscal year. Leaders in the House canceled what was meant to be an open conference committee meeting this morning because Senate negotiators declined to attend.

House leaders have offered to grant teachers raises of 6%, up from an earlier proposal of 5%. But Senate leaders say they still prefer pay increases of 11%.

"I do believe that the rank and file Senate members and the Senate leadership want to provide the pay raises," said House Speaker Thom Tillis. "I certainly believe that they want to fulfill the promise they made back in February. So we just need to make sure that in the worst case we accomplish that, and hopefully next week we'll be able to bridge the gap."

Tillis said giving teachers raises of 11 percent would require too many cuts in other areas. Governor Pat McCrory said Thursday that he would not sign a budget with 11% raises, specifically for that reason.