Governor Cooper's Budget Will Lay Out Road Map to Make NC a Top 10 Educated State


In his budget to the legislature, set to be presented tomorrow, Governor Roy Cooper will announce an ambitious and forward-thinking education plan to make North Carolina a “Top 10 Educated State” by 2025.

Governor Cooper’s plan aims to move North Carolina into the top 10 ranked states in the following categories by 2025:

  • Early Childhood: Increase the enrollment of four year olds in pre-kindergarten from current 22 percent to 55 percent.
  • K-12 Schools: Improve the high school graduation rate from current 85.6 percent to 91 percent.
  • Higher Education: Increase the percentage of adults with higher education degrees from current 38.7 percent to 55 percent.

“Education is the key to opportunity and ensuring our students are ready for jobs in a 21st century economy,” said Governor Cooper. “Making North Carolina a Top 10 Educated state is the backbone for a strong economy, attracting good paying jobs, helping incomes rise and keeping our communities vibrant.  I look forward to announcing my proposals to boost our education system and working with Democrats and Republicans to reach common ground and move our state forward.”

Cooper’s budget will lay out a full agenda in each of the three categories to begin with work of achieving these goals including investments in NC Pre-K, Smart Start, and public school funding, as well as innovative scholarship ideas to help make higher education more affordable.  

Last week, Governor Cooper announced a multi-year investment to raise teacher salaries to first in the Southeast in three years and at least the national average in five years. The plan includes an average 5 percent raise this year and another average five percent next year. Gov. Cooper’s budget proposal would also give teachers a direct annual stipend of $150 to offset out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies.


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