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home : state news : e-state news June 10, 2023

7/10/2022 9:43:00 AM
State Budget Approved
Teachers, state employees get raise; no Medicaid expansion

Wayne Howard

The North Carolina General Assembly approved the state budget last week. "I am very pleased with the budget proposal," said Lincoln County's State Representative Jason Saine.  "We increased educational spending substantially, included pay raises for teachers and other school personnel, provided funds for better school safety, and on a local note, the budget includes key funding for the Lincoln County Schools high school athletic programs" [see Lincoln Herald article State Funding Will Help Get Artificial Turf Fields.

The $28 billion budget now goes to Governor Roy Cooper, who may either veto it (there appear to be sufficient votes to override any veto), sign it, or simply take no action, allowing it to become law. Medicaid expansion, which has become Cooper's signature issue, was NOT included in the budget. .

State employees will see a 3.5% pay increase, teachers 4.2% and non-certified public school employees either 4% or a raise to a minimum of $15 an hour, whichever is greater. Entry-level teachers will also see an increase in starting salary. Overall, education spending is up nearly 7%. $3.9 million was included to cover the copays for students that qualify for reduced-price lunches. Income level requirements for the Opportunity Scholarship Program will have a new income eligibility level equal to or less than 200% of the amount required for free or reduced-price lunches.

After the Uvalde,Texas, mass school shooting, school safety was made a priority. The budget includes an additional $32 million in grants to support safety equipment and training. It also includes more than $40 million for additional school resource officers including $15 million for elementary and middle school SROs.

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