N.C. Governor Vetoes Teacher Pay Bills, Seeks Higher Raises

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Raleigh, N.C.

North Carolina's governor vetoed bills that increase teacher pay, describing the increases as "paltry" and asking Republican legislators to work with him for higher salaries for teachers.

The state shouldn't accept the inadequate raises approved last week by the GOP-controlled legislature, not "when we have an opportunity to do more," Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference Friday.

Cooper said he vetoed four bills: two dealing with pay increases for teachers and noninstructional staff and two others that he said allow for "fiscally irresponsible corporate tax cuts."

The pay-raise bills that Cooper vetoed included teacher raises of 3.9 percent over two years, including step increases for longevity. The bills also included a 2 percent raise for noninstructional staff.

"The General Assembly continues to shortchange teachers and non-certified personnel like cafeteria workers, bus drivers and teacher assistants, despite a robust economy and decent raises for other state employees," Cooper said in a news release.

See Also: Teacher Pay: How Salaries, Pensions, and Benefits Work in Schools

He said he was willing to negotiate salary increases as part of a "mini-budget," like previous ones that Republicans passed when they couldn't muster the votes to override Cooper's veto of the entire budget. And he said he would do so separate from the Medicaid expansion that's a main focus for the governor and is one of the reasons that Cooper and legislators are at a stalemate on the budget.

The North Carolina Association of Educators, the state's largest education advocacy group, said it supports Cooper.

"North Carolina educators rejected the Republican budget as anemic and insulting in June, and we reject essentially the same today," NCAE President Mark Jewell said in a tweet. The NCAE demands that legislative leaders "stop wasting time on failed veto overrides and unpopular corporate tax cuts and start spending time doing the hard work of governing," he said.

Republicans expressed disinterest in working with Cooper, who "uses teachers as pawns, blocking their pay increase then trying to convince them it's all the Republicans' fault," Senate leader Phil Berger said in a news release.

House Speaker Tim Moore seemed dubious that Cooper would negotiate the salary increases separately from other issues. "His refusal to raise teacher pay in favor of playing political games on separate issues is causing real harm to educators' families ..." Moore said in a news release.

Legislators went home Oct. 31 without enacting a two-year budget after a nine-month session. They'll return Wednesday to consider changes to the state's congressional district map.

Related Blog

The adjournment resolution says they can also return to vote on House-Senate compromise legislation that has or is already being negotiated, such as hemp farming legislation and another funding bill to pay for recent hurricane damages.

The resolution also said that overrides of Cooper's vetoes won't be considered until January. That means action can't occur on the budget bill or funding to carry out the state's long-planned Medicaid managed-care overhaul.

But legislative leaders have enough parliamentary maneuvers that they can use to take action if they decide to do so.

Web Only

Related Opinion
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Vocabulary Development for Striving Readers

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >