Gov. Roy Cooper releases 2024-25 budget proposal that calls for $1B+ for public schools, 8.5% raise for teachers

Gov. Roy Cooper releases 2024-25 budget proposal that calls for $1B+ for public schools, 8.5% raise for teachers

Gov. Roy Cooper last week introduced his recommended budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget, titled “Securing North Carolina’s Future,” focuses heavily on investing in the state’s public schools and providing tax cuts to working North Carolinians.

In a press release, Cooper’s office highlighted the governor’s proposals, including an 8.5% pay raise for teachers, an investment of over $1 billion in public schools – “instead of more taxpayer-funded private school vouchers” – and tax relief for small businesses and working families.

In addition to the raise, most teachers would also receive a $1,500 retention bonus. Cooper’s budget also calls for the following: 

  • $745 million investment to strengthen child care and early education for working families.
  • $2.5 billion school construction bond
  • 5% across-the-board salary increase for state employees and non-certified public school employees, plus a $1,500 retention bonus for most state employees
  • Moratorium on taxpayer-funded private school vouchers
  • Funding for workforce training, economic development, conservation and resilience efforts

According to the governor’s office, the proposal “is a responsible and balanced budget that invests $34.5 billion and maintains healthy state reserves while keeping taxes low.”

This budget is an opportunity to build on our state’s momentum and make up ground in areas like public education, quality child care and clean drinking water, where legislators have fallen short,” said Cooper. “As the number one state to do business in the country for two years in a row, we have the formula for success in our high-quality public schools, talented workforce and thriving economy. We must make targeted investments strengthening public education, boosting economic development, and protecting our natural resources to secure a bright future for North Carolina.”

The Republican supermajority in the General Assembly is unlikely to work with Cooper on many, if any, of his budget priorities. They will be focused on putting at least $300 million of taxpayer money toward their private school voucher program, which the governor has said is an attempt “to choke the life out of public schools and then accuse them of failing while they gasp for breath.”

Click here to see the full details of the governor’s budget proposal.

Patrick Zarcone

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