RALEIGH, N.C. — The newly proposed $27 billion state budget has a lot in store for school employees.
If it's approved, teachers would get a 4% raise. Bus drivers and other school employees would also get a 4% bump or move to $15 an hour.
"These significant increases continue to reflect our commitment to education in North Carolina," said NC Republican Representative Donny Lambeth.
Three years ago teachers took to the streets, rallying for higher pay. Fast forward to this week the proposed state budget bill would increase pay for many school employees.
Teachers will receive a 4.2% average increase and a 9.1% total increase over a two-year period. Last year's increase was 2.5%.
"Teachers are obviously critical. One thing I do want to point out is inflation has had a tremendous impact on the average family in NC including our state employees. That's why this pay raise is critical. I think we are doing the best we can because unlike the federal government the state government cannot tax and spend and borrow our way and print money the way the federal government does and run up massive deficits," said NC Republican Representative Jon Hardister.
We also spoke with Democrat representatives. Representative Pricey Harrison, she said the pay increase isn't quite enough.
"We rank sort of middle to the low end of the road to teacher pay and working conditions and desirability to be a teacher in our state, but I think that this teacher increase is minimal but it's inadequate would say what's important to know is we have 6.5 billion dollars in unspent funds and I think we could use some of that to supplement the teacher and state employee pay," said NC Democrat Representative Pricey Harrison.
The budget bill still needs to pass both chambers of the general assembly.
Then it's up to Governor Roy Cooper to sign it.