Perdue says funding ad distorts truth
RALEIGH -- Gov. Bev Perdue said Monday that Republicans leading the Legislature need to repair spending cuts in public education or North Carolina's schoolchildren will face the consequences of even fewer classroom instructors.
During a public appearance, Perdue called on House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger to join her in fashioning a plan to make up for spending reductions in the budget approved last year. There's another $330 million in additional cuts or expiring federal funds projected for the coming year.
However, House Majority Leader Paul Stam said Monday that the budget they crafted is very close to what the governor requested.
"She asked for a certain amount, we appropriated 99.8 percent of what she asked for. The ink was not dry on that before she was saying it would cause extreme cuts to education, disaster, all this kind of thing. Ninety-nine point eight percent."
"I don't know what he's talking about," Perdue replied. "If he wants to argue tit for tat, we'll do that."
"She is misunderstanding the facts," Stam added. "There are more state funded employees in the school system. But there are fewer locally funded and federally funded teachers in the school system."
Besides more funds, Perdue also wants Republican leaders to "pull down" a video, she called, misleading.
The commercial, which is paid for by American's For Prosperity, is a video about the "budget that cut taxes and added state funds for 2,000 teachers," according to ncrealsolutions.com.
"Stop trying to distort the truth," Perdue said. "We are sitting today with fewer teachers than we had in the classrooms last year. Fewer employees in the public school system, fewer teacher's assistants as we face an increasing enrollment in public schools in North Carolina."
The governor said she'll spend the next two weeks focusing on K through 12 education and the effects of the current budget on classrooms. Her plan calls for a three quarters of a cent sales tax to provide some of the money that's no longer available.
Republicans have said Perdue's solution to raise sales taxes is essentially dead on arrival at the Legislature.
"We have to do what we need to do to keep our schools healthy," Perdue said.
For more information about the governor's upcoming appearances, click here.
bev perdue, local/state
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