North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is pulling out all the stops to oppose Republicans from passing legislation. This week, Cooper declared a state of emergency over public education and labeled the Republican's plan for teacher pay as "insulting." Cooper insists that the Republican plan for teacher pay will deepen the shortage of teachers in the Tar Heel state.
“Republican legislators will make North Carolina’s teacher shortage worse with insultingly low salary increases for teachers who work hard every day to help students grow and succeed,” Copper said in an official statement. “Our teachers deserve to be paid like the professionals they are and we can’t let the legislature continue to drive qualified educators out of the profession and dismantle public education...Legislative Republicans proposed paltry salary increases for teachers that would worsen the teacher shortage. North Carolina already faces more than 5,000 teacher vacancies, leaving tens of thousands of students without a qualified educator and putting their success at extreme risk. Recruiting and retaining quality teachers is harder than ever and low pay is a significant reason why.”
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tricia Cotham (R-Mecklenburg), called Cooper's declaration political theater and called for the Governor to allow for more school choice options.
“The governor is advocating for systems rather than students themselves," Cotham said." Education is not one-size-fits-all and NC families should have the freedom to determine what kind of education is best for them. My bill to expand the Opportunity Scholarship program, to allow all NC families to make that choice, will soon be on his desk, waiting on his signature. NC kids are waiting, Governor! Stop the political theater and put kids first!”
Cooper proposed an 18% pay raise over two years for teachers, while house leaders are proposing an average teacher salary increase of 10% over two years, along with more school choice options.