NC budget deal will have huge effect on schools - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

NC budget deal will have huge effect on schools

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Educators are urging teachers to call lawmakers about North Carolina's $20.6 billion budget.

"Tell them this is not a good deal," Char-Meck Association of Educators president Charles Smith said. "Vote no for the budget."

Smith is concerned the budget doesn't provide enough money to fund all teacher assistants, no raise for teachers in the budget and the budget gets rid of teacher tenure.  Tenure is given to teachers with a certain amount of years to receive rights - due process. 

If tenure is eliminated, teachers could get little to no recourse if they are terminated. Lawmakers say renewal of contracts will be based on performance, but Smith believes teachers will be at the mercy of their principals to keep a job.

"They're not real happy," Smith said. "Because they know now if you make somebody mad -your contract may not be renewed at the time period it is up."

While teachers are protesting, some parents are happy about one portion of the budget.  It would give parents up to a $6,000 annual voucher to place their children in a private school.

Habibah Beverly has three children in Charlotte -Mecklenburg school system. She is not pleased with the education they are getting. They moved here from Richmond last year.

"When my children got here," Beverly said. "They were doing stuff they did two years ago."

Beverly said her children weren't challenged and they became bored. 

That's why she is pleased she could get vouchers to send her children to a private school to be challenged.  She's not concerned about critics who say it's not fair for parents to use public dollars to help fund a private education.

"My children are public school kids," Beverly said.  "But should they have to get a standard education because we are lower income? I don't think that's fair either."

Lawmakers say this budget is a responsible one and it takes care of education.  They say the reform measures implemented this year will pay off.  Lawmakers have set aside $10 million to help fund teachers raises.  It will be for teachers who can get the job done in the classroom.

Voting on the budget starts Tuesday.

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