The reason for next week's strike
How do you know next week's teacher strike is about electing Democrats?
First, there is already a 6.2% teacher pay increase built into the budget. We are being told that the state needs to raise teacher pay in order to ensure that good teachers will be hired and stayed. Not only have teachers received raises in each of the past 4 consecutive years under GOP leadership, but the 2018-19 budget already has a 5th raise built into it.
Another way you know that this "day of action" organized by the NC teacher's (don't call it a) union is about electing Democrats... they'll tell you it is.
A) The teacher's (don't call it a) union considers 5 consecutive raises and billions of dollars in additional school funding to NOT be "pro-public education."
B) They care more about putting Democratic politicians in office.
Gov. Cooper pitches budget proposal
Considering the Republican super-majority in both chambers of the General Assembly, the Democratic Governor's spending plan doesn't have much chance of passing. It's one of the few benefits of being in the minority - you can criticize what's being done without having to actually do anything to fix a particular problem.
So, Gov. Roy Cooper unveiled his spending plan yesterday, and it includes an 8% pay raise for teachers.
[O]ther state employees will get their biggest raise in a decade, and schools will get millions of dollars to upgrade security, buy supplies and hire new resource officers, nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists.
Those were some of the priorities Cooper, a Democrat, laid out Thursday when he announced his budget proposal.
He also proposed setting aside money for preserving farmland, conserving the environment and building affordable housing. Thatwould cost abut $20 million, in addition to the extra $140 million he wants to send toward Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts. He'd also like to revamp how North Carolina trains its future workforce, with $60 million aimed at apprenticeship programs as well as scholarships to help people facing financial struggles enroll in — and graduate from — community colleges and universities.
His budget spends $24.5 billion. The General Assembly leaders have already said their budget will spend $23.9 billion - which is about a 3.85% growth rate.
As Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) told me yesterday, the Democratic Party philosophy on budgeting is "See a penny, spend a penny." It's how the party blew billion dollar holes in annual budgets in the 2000's. It's how the state ended up freezing teacher pay, laying off educators, and furloughing state employees.
Cooper says the money would come from canceling tax cuts that Republicans have scheduled as part of their multi-year reforms - which have led to an impressive economic recovery.
My favorite line from News & Observer story:
And on Thursday, Cooper put his money where his mouth is, saying he plans to pay for a portion of his budget proposals by canceling income tax cuts for businesses and the wealthiest North Carolinians.
News flash: It's not Cooper's money.
BONUS: Here is your second Becki Gray video in as many days!