NC governor’s proposed 2014-15 budget adjustments

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Highlights of adjustments in the $21 billion spending plan for the 2014-15 fiscal year unveiled Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory. Any monetary figures are adjustments to what the legislature already budgeted for the year in the two-year spending plan approved in July 2013.

PAY AND BENEFITS

- Set minimum state salary of $33,000 for teachers with zero to seven years’ experience next year, equaling raises of 5.7 to 7.1 percent for returning teachers; raises of 2.8 percent to 4.3 percent for teachers with eight to 12 years’ experience; raises of roughly 1.9 to 2.1 percent for teachers with at least 13 years’ experience.

- Give most state employees a combined salary and benefit increase of $1,000 - $809 for salary and the rest toward their pension. Many state troopers, magistrates and court clerks will see experience-based increases, too.

- Provide 1.9 percent cost-of-living increase for state and public school retirees, at a cost of $70 million.

- Increase overall giving to the teachers and state employee pension of $7.2 million.

PUBLIC EDUCATION

- Use $9.8 million in North Carolina Education Lottery receipts to fund “Career Pathways” pilot program in which eight school districts will try out methods to reward and retain the highest-quality teachers based in part on student achievement and helping peers.

- Double textbook funding by $23.2 million by using lottery revenues.

- Restore $18.7 million to reinstate teacher salary supplements for teachers who have taken at least one course toward their master’s degrees as of July 2013 and those who have received a master’s degree and are teaching in their degree field at least 70 percent of their work time.

- Direct local school districts to pay for workers’ compensation claims and tort liability claims arising from events occurring after July 1, saving state $10 million.

- Keep teacher assistant funding at 2013-14 levels, reducing projected funds needed by $19.8 million.

- Allow community colleges to retain money that would have been lost due to enrollment declines to fund campus programs for high-in-demand jobs. The enrollment decline - attributed largely to remedial education changes - saves $17.2 million.

- Charge military veterans who were stationed at North Carolina installations the in-state tuition rate at community colleges.

- Increase community college tuition by 50 cents per credit hour for in-state and out-of-state students, generating $2.1 million.

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