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Governor Cooper Visits Northern High, Emphasizes Budget Priorities 

March 16, 2023 – A day after announcing his proposed budget, Governor Roy Cooper visited Northern High to celebrate North Carolina Teacher of the Year Leah Carper and reiterate his plans to make historic investments in public education.

Cooper’s proposed budget would raise North Carolina teacher pay to 16th in the nation (up from 32nd) and first in the Southeast, with a starting salary of at least $46,000 per year plus local supplements. The budget also calls for a 9.5% pay increase for non-certified school personnel, including bus drivers, and would expand the Department of Motor Vehicle’s capacity to train school bus drivers to address bus driver shortages.

“North Carolina has the best teachers in the country,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We must provide educators with the pay and respect they deserve so we can keep and attract more of them and my budget makes those critical investments.”

The Governor’s proposed budget aligns with Guilford County Schools’ legislative priorities, which call on elected officials to provide a substantial increase in pay for teachers and fair and competitive wages for classified staff.

Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley said, “I want to express my appreciation to Governor Roy Cooper for his commitment to supporting public education as he released his recommended budget yesterday that included historic investments in public education. Now, more than ever, our students need champions who continue to show up for them — not slowing down, not giving up, not losing hope, but pressing forward. The future of our students and our community depends on it.”

During his visit to Northern High, Governor Cooper toured several classrooms with Oakley, Principal Louis Galiotti and Carper, who taught English at the school before being named the North Carolina Teacher of the Year in 2022. Cooper also experienced one of the district’s learning hubs, which have been linked to higher graduation rates, higher attendance rates and are helping students recover academically from the impact of school closures during the pandemic.