Public education has shifted dramatically this year, only furthering the need for increased teacher pay, a variety of education options and highlighting the need for a safe plan to get our children back to schools without putting lives at risk.
This year, our educators worked diligently to adapt to new challenges brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. I voted for over $300 million in funds to help families have access to school nutrition, education and child care during the pandemic. In the North Carolina General Assembly, I voted to give North Carolina teachers a pay raise- the sixth year in a row of educator pay raises, which increased the average North Carolina teacher salary to $54,000.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to educating our children and preparing them for the future. We owe it to our children and the future of our state to provide quality education that offers a range of choices in order to best meet the academic needs and abilities of every student. We need policies that afford parents and students choices at the local level, within our higher education system, as well as a wide range of vocational education options.
As a product of the public schools in North Carolina, I have witnessed and experienced the range of creative and innovative policies already available to our students. Our universities and community colleges are successfully training our workforce to compete in a global and diverse economy and I recognize the importance of continuing to develop high quality vocational programs so that our students have even more opportunities. I am committed to working with state leaders to provide choices to families, support for our teachers, and the programs students need to succeed.