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Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Following Significant Student Learning Recovery, Governor Cooper Urges General Assembly to Make Major Investments in Public Education
Report Shows Over $5 Billion in Federal Investments Empowered North Carolina Students to Experience Major Learning Recovery
Today, Governor Roy Cooper urged state legislators to make major investments in public education following a report from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction that showed students across the state experienced significant learning recovery in nearly every subject during the 2021-22 school year.
Apr 25, 2023
Today, Governor Roy Cooper urged state legislators to make major investments in public education following a report from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction that showed students across the state experienced significant learning recovery in nearly every subject during the 2021-22 school year. These results come following over $5 billion in federal investments sent to North Carolina’s public schools to address the pandemic’s impact.
“North Carolina students saw major learning recovery and increased test scores because of unprecedented federal funds directed to public education,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “The impact of these funds shows that when schools have more resources, students succeed, and our state legislature must follow through with major investments in public schools and teachers to continue the momentum and ensure every child has the sound, basic education our constitution requires.”
The report highlights the significant strides in learning recovery made by North Carolina students during the 2021-22 school year, with the greatest gains in middle and high school math. North Carolina also widely saw gains in test scores during the 2021-22 school year while students across all races and ethnicities showed signs of academic recovery for every subject with few exceptions.
North Carolina’s public schools saw an unprecedented amount of federal funding in response to the pandemic and have invested a significant amount of those funds – at least $2.3 billion – in what matters most for improving student success, including teachers and tutors to help accelerate student learning. These federal funds, though, expire in 2024 and many school districts will be facing a “fiscal cliff” that will need to be addressed if we want to continue helping students recover from the pandemic.
Governor Cooper also allocated $20 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds to support school districts in addressing student academic needs. Of those funds, more than $14.8 million was used for hiring more teachers, teacher assistants and other education personnel or providing supplemental pay and bonuses to school personnel. This includes more than $5.5 million that was used to hire tutors.
The Governor’s budget recommendations invests substantially in public schools and a sound basic education required by the constitution for every student by raising teacher pay and including funding to help hire more educators, nurses, counselors, social workers, school psychologists, and turnaround coaches. It fully funds the remedial plan ordered by the Supreme Court.
The budget also increases teacher pay by an average of 10% in FY 2023 and 6% in FY 2024 and sets minimum starting teacher salaries at $46,000 in addition to local supplements. This would make North Carolina first in the Southeast in teacher pay and 16th in the nation, up from 32nd. The budget also seeks to address bus driver shortages across the state by raising pay 9.5% for noncertified school personnel and expanding DMV capacity to train school bus drivers.