Roy Cooper on Education



Proposed 9.1% pay increase for teachers, 8.5% compromise

From my first day in office, I've fought for better teacher pay and funding for our classrooms. My 2019-20 budget proposed a 9.1% increase for teachers, and my compromise offer included an increase of 8.5% over two years with no plateaus and a pay raise for every teacher. Legislative Republicans, on the other hand, want just a 3.9% increase over 2 years with some teachers left out.
Source: Raleigh News-Observer on 2020 North Carolina Governor race , Mar 2, 2020

$8 billion in building or renovating schools

Public education is our most important job as a state. We must do better.

Let's give kids a better start by investing more in early childhood education. We've worked together to expand pre-K to thousands more students, but we shouldn't stop until every child has it.

Let's give our students safe, healthy places to learn. Right now, 4 in 10 public schools in our state are at least 50 years old. That means they're still using the schools you and I went to. That's great for nostalgia, but not so good for students in classrooms with unreliable heat, leaking roofs or crumbling walls. K through 12 schools need at least 8 billion dollars in new construction and renovations let's have the people vote on a strong school construction bond.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to North Carolina congress , Feb 25, 2019

Increased teacher pay before tax cuts for the 1%

Too often, public schools have taken a back seat to tax breaks for those at the very top. Simply put, public education is our most important job as a state. We must do better. If we want our educators to teach well, we need to treat them well. North Carolina is still ranked 37th in teacher pay nationwide. That's not the respect they deserve. When I send you my budget, we'll put our schools and our teachers first.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to North Carolina congress , Feb 25, 2019

4,700 additional Pre-K slots for at-risk 4-year olds

As I have traveled the width and breadth of North Carolina, it doesn't matter where I am or who I'm talking to, people want us to make education better. When I'm recruiting a business to come here, the first thing they ask is whether North Carolina has the workers skilled enough to fill the jobs they create.

I've laid out aggressive goals to make North Carolina a Top Ten Educated State by 2025--emphasizing early childhood education, increasing enrollment in pre-kindergarten, improving our high school graduation rate and increasing the percentage of adults with a higher education degree.

My budget creates nearly 4,700 additional Pre-Kindergarten slots to eliminate the wait-list of at-risk four year olds. Getting more kids in pre-K means they'll arrive at school ready to learn. It's the foundation for a lifetime of success, showing economic and health benefits well beyond their pre-K years. And it allows both parents to stay in the workforce, a necessity for many North Carolina families.

Source: 2017 North Carolina State of the State address , Mar 13, 2017

NC GROW: Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce

In my talks with business owners, I hear time and again that they have job openings, but can't find workers with the skills necessary to fill them. We know the problem and we have the answer: educated workers with high-tech critical thinking skills, earned at our high schools, community colleges and universities.

To give people in the middle class more opportunity to afford higher education, let's pass a workforce program we call NC GROW- Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce. It means free community college--a scholarship to cover last-dollar tuition and fees for recent high school graduates to attend a North Carolina community college.

To earn it, young people have to make good grades and apply for already-existing scholarships, loans and grant programs. It's an idea that Republican and Democratic governors alike have supported in other states. We can make it a bipartisan reality here in North Carolina.

Source: 2017 North Carolina State of the State address , Mar 13, 2017

Teachers deserve better pay and basic respect

Cooper has served as Attorney General since 2001. In that capacity, he regularly visits schools across the state and is constantly confronted with tales of an exodus of teachers from the system, not just for better pay but "for basic respect they are not getting now," he said. "I don't think I've ever seen the morale this low, and that should be frightening to us," Cooper attested.

When Gov. Jim Hunt was in office, Cooper said, North Carolina was ranked 20th in teacher pay. Now there are reports that the state has dropped to 42nd in the nation in teacher pay and 46th in per pupil expenditures, the attorney general cited. Similar cuts have been made at community colleges and universities, what Cooper called the "economic engine."

"I believe the people of North Carolina want to support public education and want to support leaders who believe in education as a key to the future," Cooper said, noting conversations with many unaffiliated and moderate Republicans who feel the same way.

Source: 2016 gubernatorial campaign website, RoyCooper.com , Jun 17, 2015

Other governors on Education: Roy Cooper on other issues:
NC Gubernatorial:
Al Pisano
Dan Forest
Holly Grange
Pat McCrory
NC Senatorial:
Cal Cunningham
Chris Rey
Deborah Ross
Eric Mansfield
Erica Smith
Garland Tucker
Paul Wright
Richard Burr
Sandy Smith
Sean Haugh
Thom Tillis

Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
Murphy(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R)
Northam(D,term-limited) vs.Herring(D) vs.Chase(R) vs.Fairfax(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:
Bevin(R) vs.Goforth(R,lost primary) vs.Adkins(D,lost primary) vs.Beshear(D) vs.Edelen(D,lost primary)
Edwards(D) vs.Rispone(R) vs.Abraham(R) vs.Kennedy(R,declined)
Bryant(R,retiring) vs.Foster(R) vs.Hood(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2020:
DE: Carney(incumbent) vs.Williams(D) vs.Murray(R) vs.Bonini(C)
IN: Holcomb(incumbent) vs.Melton(D) vs.Myers(D)
MO: Parson(incumbent) vs.Galloway(D) vs.Neely(R)
MT: Bullock(retiring) vs.Fox(R) vs.Perry(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.Stapleton(R) vs.Olszewski(R) vs.Neill(D) vs.Schreiner(D) vs.Cooney(D) vs.Williams(D)
NC: Cooper(incumbent) vs.Forest(R) vs.Grange(R) vs.Pisano(C)
ND: Burgum(incumbent) vs.Coachman(R) vs.Lenz(D)
NH: Sununu(incumbent) vs.Volinsky(D) vs. fsFeltes(D)
PR: Rossello(D) vs.Garced(D) vs.Pierluisi(D)
UT: Herbert(retiring) vs.Huntsman(R) vs.Cox(R) vs.Burningham(R) vs.Newton(D) vs.Hughes(R) vs.Peterson(D)
VT: Scott(incumbent) vs.Holcombe(D) vs.Zuckerman(D)
WA: Inslee(incumbent) vs.Bryant(R) vs.Fortunato(R) vs.Culp(R)
WV: Justice(incumbent) vs.Folk(R) vs.Thrasher(R) vs.Vanover(D) vs.Smith(D) vs.Ron Stollings(D) vs.Salango(D)
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Page last updated: Dec 16, 2020