The Senate passed its budget more than a month ago, and now we are beginning to get a peek at parts of the House budget. Thursday morning part of the House education budget was released in the House Education Appropriations Committee. However a critical part of the education budget—salaries—was not revealed. The bottom line of the appropriation is $10.1 billion for K-12 for the first year of the biennium and $10.08 billion for the second year. For community colleges, the amount is approximately $1.2 billion each year.
The House is continuing its drive to micro-manage curriculum though the budget: “Under a special revision to ‘modernize selection of instructional materials,’ local school districts and charter schools would have to post course materials online for anyone to see. This includes books, activities, and digital resources. Individual teachers would also have to post their lesson plans online. The House tried to pass this through a separate bill in May, but it did not make it through the Senate.” For more information, see https://www.ednc.org/2021-08-05-nc-house-starts-releasing-portions-of-its-education-budget/?fbclid=IwAR13kf0M2dZVh9WQIrWoIGKJhjlp9zCEmNPNIC76oRsg2fo3O0bwoxDEPr0
This is only a small portion of the overall budget. On Tuesday, August 10, the House Appropriations Committee will take up the entire budget. After the House budget passes out of this committee, it will go to the House floor for discussion, possible amendments and a vote, which will probably be along party lines. Then, since the House budget will differ from the Senate budget, a conference committee will be appointed to resolve the differences before the final budget is sent to the governor for his signature. Two years ago the Governor vetoed the budget, no compromise was reached, and the governor’s veto was not overridden. As a consequence, we have not had a state budget for two years. There is no guarantee that will not happen again.
Representative Julie von Haefen’s Facebook post sheds light on what the budget process has been and how it is likely to move forward:
“Today, portions of the NC House Republicans’ budget proposal were released. I call it the “House Republicans” budget because NO Democrats were involved in its creation. The budget was written behind closed doors, without any input or assistance from 51 members of the House of Representatives, who represent approximately 4.2 million North Carolinians.
At 8:30 a.m. this morning, I walked into my General Government Appropriations Committee meeting and was handed two documents, containing the entire $112 million budget and policy changes for almost every state agency in NC, such as the Department of Administration, the Secretary of State, the Department of Insurance and the Board of Elections. I was then expected to review the document during a 90 minute meeting and submit amendments by 12 p.m. (Keep in mind we had a voting session at 11:30 a.m. that lasted 75 minutes). At 1 p.m., we voted on the Gen Gov budget. I voted no.
Is this any way to run a state? To exclude 4.2 million voices, and then expect a thorough review and understanding of said budget document in less than 5 hours?
Next week, the full House budget will be released. We will probably get it late Monday night, be expected to vote on it Tuesday in full Appropriations Committee, and it will be on the floor on Wednesday. I’ll keep you updated as best I can but if today is any indication, we’ll all be in the dark.”
Read the whole legislative update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update – 9 August 2021