Governor Roy Cooper proposes teacher pay raise, affordable housing in two year budget

Governor Roy Cooper proposes teacher pay raise, affordable housing in two year budget
The budget allocates $25.2 billion in education, job training, healthcare, economic development and public safety without raising taxes or establishing new fees. (Photo Source: WECT)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recommended better pay for teachers and strong public schools in proposed budget for 2019-2021. The budget also includes funds for economic improvement and health for the community.

“North Carolinians are determined to succeed and this budget invests in that determination through better schools and better opportunities for people to find good jobs and keep their families healthy and safe,” Governor Cooper said.

The budget allocates $25.2 billion in education, job training, healthcare, economic development and public safety without raising taxes or establishing new fees.

“These are common-sense priorities shared across our state and across party lines, and I look forward to working with legislative leaders to make these crucial investments for North Carolina’s future,” Governor Cooper said.

According to a release from the governor’s office, teachers would see a 9.1 percent average pay raise, making NC the best in the southeast in teacher pay in four years. The budget also includes an increase for teachers who hold a masters degree in the subject they teach. Funds for recruitment and retention of teachers would also be included.

“If we want our educators to teach well, we need to treat them well,” Governor Cooper said. “That means better pay, more opportunities to grow in their profession, and treating them like the professionals they are.”

Included in the budget is also a bond proposal worth $3.9 billion to help meet the needs of growth and expansion for public schools statewide. Funds for community colleges and University of North Carolina system institutions would be included in the budget.

Medicaid expansion is listed in the budget to provide support and affordable health to NC communities. Cooper’s budget also includes funds for fighting the nationally proclaimed opioid epidemic.

The governor also included funding for job growth creating an estimated 40,000 jobs. He wants to ensure that 2 million working-age people have either a degree or credentialed beyond high school by 2030. A goal he plans to reach with the initiative NC GROW- Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce.

“A good-paying job is the key to economic security, but workers need the right skills to get the best jobs,” Gov. Cooper said. “Helping people get the education and training they need to succeed helps families and our entire economy thrive.”

To ensure economic growth statewide, the governor includes funds for rural economic development, internet access and affordable housing. His plan will invest $15 million over two years to improve communities and neighborhoods. The governor also plans to make prisons more secure.

To review each proposed section in the budget see below:

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