Former Gov. Jim Hunt delivered the annual Lambeth Lecture in Public Policy to a packed Gerrard Hall Thursday night.
Hunt, a Democrat and the longest-serving North Carolina governor who held the position from 1977 to 1985 and 1993 to 2001, used the 45-minute lecture to emphasize the necessity of education funding in the state.
“Public education is at the very center — it’s not a piece of policy to be debated with the legislature or an interest group, it’s at the center of things for us,” Hunt said in his speech.
Hunt said he made K-12 and UNC-system funding a priority during his four-term stint in the governor’s mansion — including Smart Start, an initiative that supports early education throughout the state.
“We did many things for education in our state, but I would say the accomplishment I’m most proud of came at the end of my last term — we increased teacher’s pay to the national average,” he said in the speech.