N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough his proposal for $130 million to be utilized by K-12 schools, community colleges and universities to protect students and prevent school violence.
“North Carolina’s classrooms must be safe and supportive places for educators to work and children to learn,” Cooper said in a press release Thursday. “We should address both classroom security and youth mental health needs and my budget takes meaningful steps to prevent school violence and protect teachers and students.”
In the proposal, Cooper’s budget creates a $65 million reserve for building improvements related to safety and security to be used by schools of all levels, according to a fact sheet released by the Governor’s office. These funds can be used for communication system upgrades, improved doors and other projects.
The proposal includes $40 million in flexible funding for schools to hire additional personnel to support student and youth mental health, providing at least 500 additional positions statewide.
“School nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers play a critical role in identifying and treating youth mental health needs,” the fact sheet said.