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Speaker Tillis Expects Higher Revenue Means Fewer Education Cuts

http://66.225.205.104/LM20120417.mp3

Speaker Thom Tillis North Carolina is collecting more revenue than expected. House Speaker Thom Tillis hopes to use some of that money to reduce further cuts to education. Public schools have taken deep cuts the past few years. The current state budget includes an additional 7 percent reduction next school year. But revenue has exceeded expectations. Speaker Tillis says he's guardedly optimistic that lawmakers will use the extra revenue to help plug that hole. "There's a $75 million discretionary cut in the second half of the biennium. That's one of our first priorityto see if we can take the edge off that or eliminate it. And then all other things will be stacked up behind that. But that's key because that has a broader impact across the state," says Tillis. School districts also have to deal with a loss of federal money aimed at reducing the impact of state and local cuts. The state received nearly $300 million last school year to pay teachers, principals, and other school support staff. School districts have until September to use that money.