Projected budget shortfall concerns teacher organizations - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Projected budget shortfall concerns teacher organizations

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Representative Ted Davis said he's aware of the problem and is working to find out exactly how much "wiggle room" will be in the budget. Representative Ted Davis said he's aware of the problem and is working to find out exactly how much "wiggle room" will be in the budget.

Local teacher organizational groups are concerned that it could be harder for legislators to approve raises for teachers and state employees next year.

State budget projections are predicting the state will face an approximately $450 million revenue shortfall when the fiscal year ends on June 30. Tax collections are expected to fall two percent below expectations.

The downgrade is caused by slower than expected income tax withholdings and the response of taxpayers to federal increases in 2013. As a result, members of the New Hanover County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators are concerned about the future of education in southeastern North Carolina.

Dallas Brown is a teacher at Laney High School. He also serves as the President of the NHC NCAE. Brown says that he's concerned about the future of teacher pay raises and how it could affect the quality of local teachers.

"If we don't get a raise then the younger teachers straight out of college are going to go some place else," Brown said. "Simply put, if another state will offer more money then why wouldn't you want to go somewhere else?"

Brown says that state lawmakers should make teacher pay a top priority for the 2015 fiscal year.

Representative Ted Davis said he's aware of the problem and is working to find out exactly how much "wiggle room" will be in the budget.

Davis said he wants teachers to get a raise because they have not had a significant raise since 2008.

Davis also said he looks forward to working with the General Assembly to establish a way to find extra money. He said it will be difficult due to a large amount of other things that need to be covered within the budget.

The General Assembly reconvenes on May 14.

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