Education dominates fiscal spending plan

Opposition from liberal lawmakers to the budget, led by the governor, are loudest when it comes to education.
With votes Thursday and Friday, the last by the Senate on Friday morning, the state budget was sent to the governor with a number of decisions – from school choice to the long-litigated Leandro. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll take the option of allowing House Bill 259 to become law without his signature after 10 days rather than issuing a veto.
“Make no mistake about it, the state of education in North Carolina is improving because of parental school choice under the leadership of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger,” Mike Long, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, said in a prepared statement. “Expanding access to North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, while reinvesting any realized savings from the program back into public education is a win-win for all students.”
The majority of Democrats disagreed on the chamber floors the last two days. Senate passage of the $60.7 billion spending plan was 27-16; it was 70-40 in the House. There wasn’t a “no” vote from a Republican in either chamber.
No senators from the minority party were in favor. Democratic Reps. Cecil Brockman of Guilford County, Carla Cunningham of Mecklenburg County, Garland Pierce of Scotland County, Michael Wray of Northampton, and Shelly Willingham of Edgecombe County voted “aye” in the House.

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