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Cooper, Berger Trade Twitter Blame For Lack Of NC Teacher Raises

Gov. Roy Cooper (left) and Sen. Phil Berger
Gov. Roy Cooper (left) and Sen. Phil Berger.

Gov. Roy Cooper and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger took to Twitter on Tuesday to blame each other for the lack of North Carolina teacher raises.

Both Cooper and Berger want teacher raises, though they disagree on specifics. But the governor and the General Assembly are deadlocked over a budget, with Medicaid expansion the main roadblock.  That means teachers have been working at last year’s wages since the school year began in August.

The Democratic governor and the Republican-dominated legislature agreed on a "mini-budget" in August that provided raises to thousands of state employees. But teachers were not among them.

Cooper tweeted Tuesday morning that legislators have “lied, cheated and taken a vacation” while teachers work without raises. He called for them to negotiate a budget that gives teachers “the significant pay raises they deserve.”

Berger fired back that Cooper has vetoed every teacher raise approved by the General Assembly. He urged Cooper to drop his “Medicaid ultimatum,” stop grandstanding and “come on over here so we can cut a deal.”

Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.