Governor Cooper Visits Public Schools, Highlights Budget Investments in Education | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper today highlighted his recommended investments in schools, teachers and families with visits to Scurlock Elementary School in Hoke County and Northern Guilford High School in Guilford County. The Governor's budget, First in Opportunity, would offer significant teacher raises to make North Carolina 1st in the southeast in teacher pay, as well as fully fund the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan ordered by the Supreme Court to ensure the state meets its Constitutional obligation to provide a sound, basic education for every student.

    The Governor highlighted his budget's proposed investments in a sound basic education in his visit to Scurlock Elementary School, which is in one of the original Leandro plaintiff school districts and the home county of Robb Leandro, for whom the case is named.

    "North Carolina has the best teachers in the country," said Governor Cooper. "We must provide educators with the pay and respect they deserve so we can keep and attract more of them and my budget makes those critical investments."

    Governor Cooper's proposed budget invests substantially in public schools and a sound basic education required by the constitution for every student. This includes raising teacher pay by an average of 10% in FY 2023 and 6% in FY 2024 and sets minimum starting teacher salaries at $46,000 in addition to local supplements. This would make North Carolina first in the Southeast in teacher pay and 16th in the nation, up from 32nd.

    The budget also includes, as required by our state constitution, the necessary funding to ensure we have a qualified teacher in every classroom, skilled principals in every school, and the funding to support every student, most especially our students with disabilities, students from low-income families, and English-language learners. The budget will also provide public schools the funding to hire more educators, nurses, counselors, bus drivers, social workers and school psychologists, and funding for expanding the NC Pre-K program to more four-year olds.

    "We were honored to have Governor Cooper visit Hoke County and Scurlock Elementary School today and we are inspired by his commitment to public education," said Hoke County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Shannon Register. "We applaud his efforts to increase teacher and bus driver pay as well as increase the number of critically needed support staff in our schools."

    "I want to express my appreciation to Governor Roy Cooper for his commitment to supporting public education as he released his recommended budget yesterday that included historic investments in public education," said Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley. "Now, more than ever, our students need champions who continue to show up for them - not slowing down, not giving up, not losing hope, but pressing forward. The future of our students and our community depends on it.

    During the school visits, Governor Cooper toured classrooms and met with teachers and students.

    Scurlock Elementary is located in Raeford. The school serves Pre-K - 5th grade students, and is one of four schools implementing a Rising Stars program, which transitions pre-K students to kindergarten.

    Northern Guilford High School serves the towns of Browns Summit and Summerfield. The School placed in the top 20% of all schools in North Carolina for overall test scores for the 2020-21 school year.

    Contact: Sam Chan

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email:
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