Posted on June 25, 2014 at 7:11 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. -- With shouts and signs, close to 3 hundred teachers and educators rallied across from the Legislative building Wednesday afternoon. They are part of the North Carolina Association of Educators. NCAE is most upset about losing tenure rights, and teacher assistants that would be let go under the Senate's budget. They are angry with budget proposals they say would hurt education.
"Teachers are fed up," said Mike Ferrier. He is an Ashbrook High School teacher from Gastonia. He says what's in the budget is unfair. "Cutting teacher assistants so we can have a raise makes no sense."
He then adds a question for the governor. "How's he going to pay for it? That's where the rubber meets the road. I just want a fair raise that doesn't cut other people. That's not right."
At the Governor's Mansion, Pat McCrory restated his vision and admiration for educators. He would like to see no teacher in his state make less than $35,000 a year. He would like to see teachers receive about a 5 percent pay raise.
"This is not a legislative, executive branch issue. This is a North Carolina issue and we recognize teachers need a pay increase and our plan does just that, but it's responsible and it's affordable," McCrory said.
Speaker of the House Tom Tillis also expressed the House's desire to keep Teacher Assistant's working when school resumes in the fall.
"The teacher assistant cuts we think highly disruptive, particularly if you use them as a source of funding. So that's not incorporated into the bill," Tillis said.
Tillis along with other members of his party introduced new legislation Wednesday that outlines keeping teacher assistants and giving about a 5 percent pay raise for teachers.
The House and Senate this week must hammer out differences by week’s end, and then send a final budget to the governor's desk in early July.