The new chairman of North Carolina's State Board of Education says he wants higher pay for public school teachers, but believes the state's puttering economy and Medicaid spending are obstacles to raises.
Bill Cobey said Monday the state's high unemployment rate and slow-growing tax revenues aren't helping generate the funds needed to provide significant raises.
The House and Senate budget proposals envision spending an extra $1.2 billion on Medicaid in the next two years. Neither spending plan provides pay raises next year for teachers or state employees. Teachers have had one pay raise since 2008.
Cobey also says he personally supports a bill that would provide public money for some low-income students to attend private or parochial schools.