CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to make a big push for public education spending as part of his 2019 budget proposal.
Cooper is asking for more than half of his proposed $3.9 billion budget to be spent on schools, saying education needs to be a priority for state lawmakers. If Cooper's proposal passes, $2 billion would be spent on public schools, with another $500 million each going to the University of North Carolina system and community colleges.
The budget asks for more than twice what State House Republicans are asking for in their proposal. Cooper said his budget also calls for a nine-percent teacher pay increase over two years and that all teachers would see a minimum three-percent raise each year. He also wants to restore pay bumps for teachers who hold master's degrees.
"My mom was a master teacher," Cooper said during last month's State of the State Address. "Someone who works that hard to improve him or herself ought to be rewarded by the system because you have made yourself a better teacher."
Cooper's proposed budget also calls for an additional $40 million to be spent on school nurses, counselors, psychologists and police officers, $15 million on safety improvements and training for K-12 schools and $29 million for textbooks, digital curriculum and instructional supplies.