RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed 2024 as “The Year of Public Schools” in North Carolina at an event Tuesday in Nash County.
At the event, Cooper called for K-12 education and early childhood funding as well as “meaningful investments in greater teacher pay” in the upcoming legislative session. He also called for a stop to state spending on the state’s popular Opportunity Scholarship program until the state’s public schools are “fully funded.”
“The legislature must fully fund public education in North Carolina, including meaningful investments in early childhood education and paying our teachers like the professionals they are,” said the governor in a statement. He also called private schools in the state “unaccountable and unregulated” in the statement.
Cooper’s announcement came in the middle of National School Choice Week, an event which he previous issued a proclamation supporting.
The event was held at Nashville Elementary School, where Cooper attended as a child.
“The legislature must fully fund public education in North Carolina, including meaningful investments in early childhood education and paying our teachers like the professionals they are. During this Year of Public Schools, I urge North Carolinians to join me in fighting for our public schools by contacting their local legislators and candidates running for office to insist that North Carolina schools educate children for long-term success.”
The governor, in his last term year in office, said throughout 2024 he would highlight “North Carolina’s strong public schools, teachers and staff across the state to show the positive impacts of a well-funded public education system on the state’s economy and communities.”
The proclamation can be read here.