Gov. Roy Cooper released his recommended state budget for 2019-2021 this month. The plan primarily focuses on three specific aspects: reforms for public schools, increased accessibility of healthcare and more statewide economic opportunity.
Cooper’s budget prioritizes public education. The aim is that North Carolina would become the leader in teacher pay in the Southeastern United States in four years. Cooper believes the key to this lies in investing in better pay and respect for teachers and principals. According to a press release from the governor's office, teachers would see an average pay raise of 9.1 percent over two years.
Other changes would include paying principals on both experience and the size of the student body they lead. Cooper also proposes restoring extra pay for teachers, providing instructional support for those who hold higher education degrees in the subject they teach and eliminating the requirement that teachers pay for their own substitutes on personal leave days.
Cooper also wants to change the budget on the healthcare front.
“It’s time to help the half a million North Carolinians without health insurance, doctors, nurses and our rural hospitals, law enforcement fighting opioids, businesses, and our overall economy by expanding Medicaid,” Cooper said in the press release.