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McCrory unveils NC public education platform

Posted March 28, 2012

— Pat McCrory's road map for public school improvements if he's elected North Carolina governor includes familiar stops from his 2008 campaign and builds on current initiatives.

The presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate unveiled his platform Wednesday for K-12 education at the north Raleigh campus of Wake Technical Community College.

McCrory promoted his longstanding emphasis on vocational education and said he would push for two types of high school diplomas – one that certifies a student is college ready and another that certifies a student is ready for an outside career.

"Our education policy must be integrated with our economic policy," he said. "They should not be working separately from each other. They should work as partners along with our private sector."

The former Charlotte mayor also said he wants to reward the best teachers with higher pay and expand the state's online education system. He says he's glad the charter school limit has been lifted but worries about a slow approval process for new schools.

"We need pay for performance and to reward the best teachers, and we need to start implementing that system as soon as possible," he said.

McCrory declined to say how he would fund his proposals, which also include expanding classroom technology and more virtual lessons. He did say that he doesn't favor Gov. Beverly Perdue's proposal to add 0.75-cent to the state sales tax rate to restore some of the spending cuts to public education made last year to balance the state budget.

Bob Etheridge Democrats question McCrory's education funding ideas

"You first look for resources inside the current educational establishment. Then you look within state government, and the last part you look for, especially during a recession, is more money from taxpayers," he said.

"We cannot afford to keep the status quo in education, and a lot of the requests are being made right now to pour more money into the existing system, which is resulting in an incredibly high drop out rate," he said. "I'm not going to accept that any longer."

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge said McCrory won't find much savings in education after $1.3 billion in budget cuts last year and another round this year.

"Last year, he was out there applauding the General Assembly when they were making those cuts," Etheridge said. "I think (his plan) is a bunch of smoke and mirrors."

A former state education superintendent, Etheridge said his education plan is coming soon, and it will include a tax increase for schools.

"You've got to be honest with the people of North Carolina. You can't get to excellence on the cheap," he said.

Orange County Rep. Bill Faison, who also is seeking the Democratic nomination, said he would support a tax increase for schools if it's necessary.

"I don't like taxes any better than anybody else does, but if the balance is kids' education (versus) taxes, you certainly don't want to waste the money, but you've got to educate the kids," Faison said.

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  • SMAPAEA Mar 30, 2012

    politicians are horrible, all of them.

  • mikeyj Mar 29, 2012

    Kids through high school years DO NOT need virtual classroom environments. They do need to have rules enforced and made to pay their own penalties for not getting their own educations. Quit living off mommy and daddy. I like the 2 fingered certicate idea though. Up north, (I know I know- I'm not up north any more,LOL) AT high school we had "VOTECH schools with curricula that did alot more time and energy into the trades being specialized in. It worked!

  • ljohnson247 Mar 29, 2012

    "You've got to be honest with the people of North Carolina. You can't get to excellence on the cheap," Mr. Etheridge stated and then Mr. Faison stated "I don't like taxes any better than anybody else does, but if the balance is kids' education (versus) taxes, you certainly don't want to waste the money, but you've got to educate the kids," We total agree, but please tell us where is all the funds being pumped into the education field TODAY going? City, County, and State employees have had to take pay cuts. Did the teachers take one?

  • ljohnson247 Mar 29, 2012

    If after pumping large sums of taxpayer money into the education field, there was follow up on things we feel there would be higher and better grades than what there is now. US ranks at the bottom of the education. As we believe, the main reason for the large amount of funding is the large number of people in the field which mirrors large number of voters. If you did not perform on your job, what would happen. You would be out of a job. How many of you can work for a few years and then have a job for life where it would be hard for them to fire you.

  • Plenty Coups Mar 28, 2012

    "A Temporay TAX is just that!!!"

    You want it both ways. End taxes and fund education. Doesn't work like that. Sorry. Overall taxes in NC are already below the national average.

  • Plenty Coups Mar 28, 2012

    "The Lottery was supposed to be money added to our school system,"

    It is. Would you rather pay taxes intead?

    Here is where the money goes: (remember, the education budget is 7 billion plus per year)
    http://www.northcarolinalottery.com/where-does-the-money-go.html

    "and the state was supposed to still fund education as always."

    Right. But ending "temporary" taxes and cutting business taxes in a recession that further depresses revenue kind of make it hard to properly fund education.

  • affirmativediversity Mar 28, 2012

    I am so unimpressed with McCrory its not funny! This is a BIG state Mr. McCrory and maybe its time for you to get out of Charlotte for a couple of days, pull your head out of your progressive leaning derrier and stop pandering to Bev's folks...

    I'll be voting for the person who pays some attention to the other 40 or so other State Departments and their thousands upon thousands of employees and the citizens of North Carolina they provide service to...

  • commonsence Mar 28, 2012

    A Temporay TAX is just that!!!

  • commonsence Mar 28, 2012

    Bobby E is part of the problem with Education,, The Lottery was supposed to be money added to our school system,, and the state was supposed to still fund education as always. So the Education system should be flush with cash. So where dod the money go?

  • redbeardthefiend Mar 28, 2012

    "The teachers union has prevented changes to how we educate in North Carolina for far too long. McCory wants to make changes he wants to do a better job of educating the kids of this state. We need a Governor who is not a slave to the teachers union and who will stand up to them and make some changes."

    Are you kidding me nobama? NC is a right to work state and teachers unions are flat out illegal here in NC. The NCAE is what I assume you are talking about, but they are not a union. They do not collective bargain, they have no voice in how/what we teacher, they do nothing for teachers short of providing an attorney should little Johnny claim he was inappropriately touched; but it is super expensive to join it for this 1 single benefit, so it's not that great of a deal.

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