Governor Cooper Continues to Travel Across the State Highlighting Extreme Legislative Proposals to Dismantle Public Education in North Carolina | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper visited Weaverville Primary School in Buncombe County to emphasize the dangerous impacts of extreme legislation proposed by Republican legislators that would cause public schools to lose hundreds of millions of dollars through the expansion of private school vouchers, exacerbate the state's teacher shortage and bring political culture wars into the classrooms.

    "The proposed Republican budgets work to dismantle public education by allowing millionaires to get thousands of dollars to send their children to private schools while tossing a paltry $250 raise at veteran public school teachers," said Governor Cooper. "We must make real investments in public schools to ensure our children get the best education possible."

    Governor Cooper has traveled across the state to visit public schools and highlight the series of sweeping legislation pushed by Republicans that would choke the life out of public education. Last week, the Governor visited schools in Wake, Mecklenburg and Alamance Counties.

    Legislative Republicans propose pouring billions of dollars in taxpayer money into private schools that have no meaningful accountability for student outcomes and can decide which students they want to admit. Their plan would expand private school vouchers so anyone - even a millionaire - can get taxpayer money for their children's private school tuition.

    Legislative Republicans also put forth paltry salary increases for teachers that would worsen the teacher shortage. North Carolina already faces more than 5,000 teacher vacancies, leaving tens of thousands of students without a qualified educator and putting their success at extreme risk. Recruiting and retaining quality teachers is harder than ever and low pay is a significant reason why.

    While Governor Cooper proposed an 18% pay raise over two years for teachers, Senate Republicans proposed increasing veteran teachers' salaries by only $250 spread over two years. House leaders are proposing an average teacher salary increase of 10% over two years - an increase that barely matches inflation.

    Both the Senate and House budgets provide no meaningful support for critical early childhood education and child care. The Senate budget fails early learners, their families and businesses by providing no state funding for child care stabilization grants or the expansion of Smart Start or NC Pre-K. The House budget proposes only minimal funds to increase the childcare subsidy rate ($24 million beginning in FY2024-25) and for Smart Start ($10 million total for the biennium).

    In addition to siphoning money out of public schools, Republicans are also proposing large tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations that will reduce total state funding by almost 20% and cause long-term cuts to the classroom.

    In a special address last week, Governor Cooper outlined sweeping legislation in the NC General Assembly that would choke the life out of public education. The Governor is calling on North Carolinians to visit governor.nc.gov to learn more and contact their legislators to ask them to protect public schools.


    Contact: Sam Chan

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email: govpress@nc.gov
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