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NC schools takes steps forward

THU.| 2-29-24 | OPINION

     As a promising way to bring in the new year, Gov. Roy Cooper declared that he has a plan to make 2024 the “year of public schools” for students and teachers alike. Considering the localized issue of teacher shortages and the statewide increase in high school dropouts, I believe that this plan is a step in the right direction to improve our schools in the distant future.

     A major part of this plan is directly increasing teacher pay. Cooper stated that he plans to increase the salary of K-12 public school teachers by 18 percent over the next two years. This increase should make a significant difference in the number of new teachers, as the current salary is a major reason why schools are so understaffed. This new salary will make it possible for new teachers to support themselves and their families despite the significant rise in living costs and national inflation.

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Graphic by Owen Simmons

     Cooper also plans to provide public schools with bonus funding to improve classroom resources and ensure that each school can afford to have extracurricular activities for students. While there are obvious outside reasons for students needing or wanting to drop out of school, additional funding will certainly make a dent in solving this problem. With diverse extracurriculars and resources, high schools will be able to better meet the career needs and wants of those students who are dropping out.

     His proclamation also stated that he plans to guarantee that every school in North Carolina has high-quality teachers and principals to ensure the best quality of education for all K-12 students. While Cooper's statement was relatively unclear as to how he plans to do this, I certainly think this decision is a step in the right direction. 

     Despite Rose being fortunate enough to have many hard-working and accomplished teachers, it is still a struggle for us to fill many teaching positions. Improving the quality of educators could also make a significant difference in high school dropout rates and the number of students who choose to seek higher education. Overall, increasing teacher salaries and overall public school funding will help the education status of North Carolina, which certainly has room for improvement.

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