The state continues to be on hold in the wait for Governor Pat McCrory to sign North Carolina’s new budget plan. After weeks of back and forth and negotiations over portions of how to fund services throughout the state, the House and the Senate have agreed on a $21.1 billion spending plan that is just awaiting the governor’s signature before taking effect.
The budget taps into the state’s savings plan for a total of $620 million as well as cuts into the reserve funds to ensure that the $21.1 billion budget is fully funded. A new salary schedule for public educators was one of the points of contention for the General Assembly. The final budget identifies a seven percent raise across the board for North Carolina teachers – a $282 million increase in teacher pay in the state. Other school-based administrators will receive a roughly $800 raise and central office personnel and other noncertified staff will receive $500.
Other state employees can expect to see a $1,000 pay raise, and five additional vacation days. In addition to teacher pay, the state plans to spend $42 million to reduce class sizes in kindergarten classrooms to 18 children per teacher as well as 17 students per teacher in first grade, which calls for an increase of about 760 positions.