PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper visited Penderlea Elementary School Tuesday to deliver school supplies and meet with educators to discuss teacher pay.
Cooper is advocating for a significant teacher pay raise.
North Carolina leaders are still in a state budget standoff, more than a month and a half into the new fiscal year.
Cooper claims republicans are holding up the state budget by not including a teacher pay raise.
However, the state budget passed by the General Assembly did include a teacher pay raise.
That budget did not include funding for Medicaid expansion, so the governor vetoed it and later offered a compromise to republicans.
He sat down with educators today to talk about teacher pay, healthcare benefits, standardized testing and school safety.
“We need to get our teacher pay to at least the national average and the compromised proposal I have put forward is 8.5 percent over the next two years for teachers," Cooper said. “That’s down from what I originally proposed but I know we have to give honest give and take.”
The governor said he is ready to sit down with republicans and pass a state budget, but is frustrated the legislature keeps trying to override his veto instead of compromising.
“I’m ready to sit down with them any time," he said. "We’ve made a compromised proposal and are waiting to hear back from them. What their precondition to me is before they will negotiate with me is that I have to take one of our top issues, medicaid expansion, before they will even negotiate the budget and that’s not right.”
Right now, there seems to be no end in sight to this stalemate. When asked if a fiscal year could pass without a new budget, the governor said he hoped that would not be the case.
"We sent a compromised proposal that accepted a lot of what the legislature put in their budget,” he said.