Quick update on the progress of the budget discussions. House leaders say the budget will be printed this weekend and released early next week. It will include a three percent raise for public school teachers and faculty members at universities and community colleges. Most other state employees will receive a hike of 2.75 percent or $1,100, whichever is greater.
Governor Mike Easley proposed a seven percent raise for teachers to bring their salaries closer to the national average and a 1.5 percent increase for state employees with a one time bonus of $1,000.
Reportedly, the House budget now includes roughly half of the $46 million Easley proposed to expand More at Four, his program to help at-risk kids. The report from the House subcommittee on education last week had no new funding for the program.
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