Weeks after he presented his broad goals for the long session of the General Assembly, Superintendent Mark Johnson released detailed budget asks for lawmakers today. This comes only days after Gov. Roy Cooper released his budget plan for the biennium. Next, the House and Senate will come up with their budget proposals before the two chambers hash out a final plan, which will go to the Governor for approval.
Johnson’s budget asks are part of his #NC2030 plan, which aims to make North Carolina schools “the best place to learn and teach by 2030.”
“The #NC2030 plan is ambitious but achievable. Our educators are doing their part. It will take innovation and leadership to make it happen,” Johnson says in the introduction to his budget request.
Key highlights of Johnson’s proposal include at least a 5 percent pay raise for all teachers, more funding for principal salary increases, and an expansion of the number of institutions participating in the Teaching Fellows program — a program that reimburses tuition for students looking to become teachers in North Carolina in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) or special education.
Johnson’s budget priorities also emphasize early education, including kindergarten readiness tools and camp pilots.
As both the House and Senate consider competing plans for meeting the facility needs of the state’s public schools, Johnson included budget plans on the issue in his priority list, including additional positions to come up with a plan for statewide capital needs.
In keeping with his long-time support for reducing testing in schools, Johnson included a phased-in plan to increase personalized-learning and reduce high-stress testing. He also pushed for calendar flexibility for local districts.
Other sections of his budget priorities include money for textbooks and supplies, support for increasing the current 15-point grade scale for the school performance grades, school safety, early literacy, and more.
See the Governor’s education budget below.