Education group speaks out about proposed state budget

The proposed budget from the state legislature has education leaders speaking out.

Mark Jewell, President-elect of the North Carolina Association of Educators, was in Greenville Tuesday to discuss what he feels are funding shortages for public schools.

He says many schools face shortages of basic needs like textbooks, paper and digital learning tools.

He also says thousands of positions across the state have gone unfilled despite the number of students increasing.

Jewell says he is pleased that this budget proposal does include raises averaging 4.7 percent for teachers, but says they'll still remain behind the national average.

Jewell says, "We're going to have to have a strategic plan to where we address that. Something in the 4 to 5 year plan to move us toward the national average and beyond because what we've seen from this General Assembly will probably do very little to move the needle on teacher recruitment and retention."

A North Carolina Republican party spokesperson responded by saying, "Thanks to Republican leadership, teachers in North Carolina are being paid an average of $50,000, making us the highest state in the nation for teacher pay increases. The NCAE is Roy Cooper's secret arm of distortion -- lying to cover Cooper's insulting record of cutting teacher pay and hurting our children's chances of success."