Cathy Littleton: Unfunded mandate

March 19, 2014 

School districts that are opposing the state-mandated contracts for 25 percent of their teachers are being fiscally responsible.

It is an unfunded mandate on local districts from Republicans in Raleigh. It requires districts to offer contracts guaranteeing money they do not have to teachers. If the state does not provide funding for years two through four, or fully fund year one, districts will be on the hook for that money. This is because the contract is not with the state but the district.

If we are fiscally conservative, we should be against this mandate that forces districts to make financial promises they have no control over keeping. If Republicans are against Medicaid expansion because they don’t trust the federal government to pay for it, and they don’t want to count on money that may not be there, they should also be against this for exactly the same reason. Very hypocritically, however, the exact same politicians (Phil Berger, Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory) who refused to expand Medicaid wrote and pushed through this unfunded mandate on local school districts.

Cathy Littleton

Oxford

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