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Proposed NC state budget includes teacher raises, but falls short of expectations

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Local educators are disappointed with the proposed state budget.

Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of teachers marched in the state capitol for additional education funding.

Republicans revealed their proposed budget on Monday. On Wednesday, it was voted on in the state Senate and approved. The budget includes things like an average 6.5 percent pay raise for teachers, a 6.9 percent increase to the principal salary schedule, 2 percent pay raise for other school employees and performance bonuses for teachers and principals.

Some educators say the proposal is not enough because it doesn’t focus on some of the most important things they demanded, like per-pupil spending.

“It's not enough, it is nowhere near enough,” said Todd Warren, the president of the Guilford County Association of Educators.

“My primary issue was per-pupil spending, especially when you look at the state’s economy… I think we are 10th in the nation and 39th in spending,” said Joanie Langer, a kindergarten teacher at Brooks Global Elementary.

“My thoughts are that we are trying to push out some of the older teachers by not giving them raises,” said Sarah Carter, a third-grade teacher at Brooks Global Elementary.

“For most of the people I talk to on a daily basis it is about the pay, for sure, but it's also again about the facilities and the lack of textbooks and so forth,” said Grady Peace, a Grimsley High School teacher.

Educators also don't like how this budget was put together and how it's moving forward so fast.

“We feel like it's moving very purposefully, very quickly so the public doesn't have time to really dive into it,” Warren said. “There will be no ability to debate or make amendments.”

Both the House and the Senate must vote twice on the budget before it passes. The Senate approved it on Wednesday. The House meets Thursday morning.

This budget should make it to the governor by this weekend.