North Carolina Nears A Budget

Jul 23, 2013

NC Legislative building.
Credit NC General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly is set to vote on a budget this week, one that has defenders of public education up in arms. The proposed budget ends teacher tenure, holds teacher salary flat and cuts funding for teacher assistants.

Dave Dewitt, WUNC Raleigh Bureau Chief, told Frank Stasio on The State of Things that those and other changes to aspects of state public education add up to a dramatic impact.

"Taken individually, those would be big changes to education in any session, but you put them all together and it really is a fundamental shift," he said.

Becki Gray, vice president of outreach at the John Locke Foundation. said  that the budget is a step in the right direction.

"I think it's a very good budget," she said, adding later. "We're seeing a focus on limited government. I think we're seeing a focus on better management, cost containment -- fixing stuff if you will. And then a new focus on accountability and measures with taxpayer money."

Tazra Mitchell, a fellow at the NC Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center, said

"Legislators set their priorities through the budget...this budget does fix some things, but it also includes a lot of setbacks for North Carolinians," she said.

The budget also compensates victims of the state’s eugenics program, and it ends funding of the embattled Rural Center.