Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Governor Cooper Tours Louisburg Elementary School, Highlights How Strong Public Schools Make Strong Communities Gov. Cooper Declared 2024 as “The Year of Public Schools”

Today, Governor Roy Cooper visited Louisburg Elementary School as part of “The Year of Public Schools” education tour.
Mar 12, 2024

Today, Governor Roy Cooper visited Louisburg Elementary School as part of “The Year of Public Schools” education tour. The Governor was joined by teachers, students, local and state education leaders and local elected officials as he highlighted the outstanding work being done at Louisburg Elementary School and Franklin County Schools and the ways that public education is strengthening North Carolina’s communities.

The Governor again called for fully funding K-12 education as well as meaningful investments in early childhood education and teacher pay in the upcoming legislative session. The Governor also called for a stop to state spending on vouchers for unaccountable and unregulated private schools until North Carolina’s public schools are fully funded.

“Louisburg Elementary and public schools across North Carolina provide a comprehensive learning experience and allow our state’s students to grow and thrive,” said Governor Cooper. “It’s critical for the future of North Carolina that we make meaningful investments in public education and fully fund our public schools.”

“Louisburg Elementary has always been a school that accepts all, educates all, improves all, and challenges all students,” said Louisburg Elementary School Principal Trenace Gilmore. “When our students come to us, their parents are giving us their best. It is our job to meet them where they are and support the whole child from the root to the blossom, for us to nurture and love them. Louisburg Elementary will always do what it does best, grow our students.”

“Franklin County Schools is committed to serving our community by being the best choice for families,” said Franklin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Schuhler. “We realize that being the best choice means that we must deliver on our promises through preparing students for career and college readiness and high academic standards, creating a supportive and safe educational environment, and sustaining a high-quality workforce to make it all happen.”

This year, the Governor will highlight North Carolina’s strong public schools, teachers and staff across the state to show the positive impacts of a well-funded public education system on the state’s economy and communities. The Governor will also spotlight the dangers of underfunding our schools while pouring millions of dollars into an unregulated private school voucher program that sends taxpayer money to private academies.

In Franklin County, 85.1% of school-aged children attend public schools, and public schools in Franklin County and across the state excel at preparing students for success from cradle to career.

  • The 2023 graduation rate for Franklin County was 83.3%.
  • In 2023, North Carolina public school students earned more than 325,000 workforce credentials while in high school. More than 3,600 of those workforce credentials were earned by Franklin County students.
  • In 2023, more than one-third of North Carolina high school graduates took a college course for credit while in high school.
  • North Carolina has the highest number of National Board-certified teachers in the country (over 24,000), including 20 in Franklin County.

However, Republican legislators continue to push policies that undermine and politicize public education. The budget enacted by the legislature last year expanded the private school voucher program by $250 million over the next two years, for a total of $4 billion over the next ten years.

  • Under the expanded voucher program, public schools in Franklin County could lose over $1,000,000 in state education funding just in the first year of the expanded program. That loss in funding not only impacts students, but also Franklin County’s workforce. Public schools are the largest employer in Franklin County.

During his final year as Governor, Gov. Cooper is committed to prioritizing public schools and to hearing from the many communities across the state who know that strong public schools ensure we have strong communities.

Read "The Year of Public Schools" proclamation here.

Read the Governor’s remarks from “The Year of Public Schools” launch event here.


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