NC House partly restores education money from Senate’s 3 a.m. cut

Sen. Erica Smith.
Sen. Erica Smith.

The proposed state House budget restores some of the education funding the Senate slated for elimination as part of a 3 a.m. maneuver earlier this month that hit low-income counties.

A piece of the House budget unveiled in the House education subcommittee Thursday restores money for the Eastern North Carolina STEM program, giving it $300,000 next year. The Senate budget would eliminate the money.

The House proposal also makes two early-college high schools in Northampton and Washington counties eligible for extra money. The Senate made those schools ineligible.

The Senate cuts hit education programs in Democratic Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram’s district, and would affect mostly low-income, African-American students.

Senate Republicans made the cuts in an amendment brought at 3 a.m. shortly before it approved its budget proposal. Republican said they wanted to use the money to pay for an opioid treatment program.

The Senate also called for taking money out of Democrats’ districts that teacher assistants use to help get teaching licenses and shifted the funding to Republicans’ districts. The House budget proposal eliminates funding for that program.

The House budget still has far to go. Once the House passes its budget, House and Senate negotiators will meet to work out the differences.

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner