In a courageous move, Representative Pat McElraft spoke yesterday before a crowd of teachers at the combined Bogue Sound Elementary School and Croatan High School off Highway-24 near Broad Creek. Here is an excerpt from the Carteret County News-Times article by Cheryl Burke, in which Representative McElraft gives a little background on the legislation at issue:
Ms. McElraft said when Gov. McCrory and legislators took office, they inherited a $3.5 billion state budget deficit. Plus, the state is facing an astronomical cost for Medicaid, which has hurt the economy even more. She said half of the state’s population is now on Medicaid.
“The first order of business was getting the state back in sound fiscal shape,” she said, adding that lowering corporate taxes and taxes on small businesses has encouraged new businesses to move to the state.
“We had to deal with that before we could start paying our bills,” she said. “We need to get you all up to the national average (for pay), but we need a revenue stream to do that.”
Representative McElraft indicated a willingness to work in favor of a broader policy for raises and bonuses than the “top 25%” scheme mandated by the 2013 legislation, but to her great credit, especially considering the opposing sentiments of her audience, she reiterated her support for the eventual elimination of teacher tenure. This is important, as in my view, the elimination of teacher tenure is the linchpin of education reform here in North Carolina.
The fill CNT article can be seen HERE.