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Gov. Cooper Urges Full Funding of Leandro Plan, Avoidance of Culture Wars in State of the State Speech

Source: The News & Observer

With almost two years left of his second term, Gov. Roy Cooper recently delivered a State of the State speech that highlighted the accomplishments of his administration and hopes for the future of our state. The governor touted North Carolina’s booming economy, clean energy efforts and the recent progress made toward Medicaid expansion for the state, which has since been passed.

Much of this, Cooper said, was due to the diversity, dedication, and determination of the people of North Carolina. 

Cooper then moved on to education, saying that his proposed budget would raise the pay of educators and fully fund the Leandro plan. He also brought up some of the controversy surrounding education discussions right now.

“Avoiding the worst of the culture wars these past six years has also been good for business. We worked together in a bipartisan way to fully repeal the horrible bathroom bill the first year I took office,” Cooper said, referring to House Bill 2, which became law during former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration. It’s widely known that HB 2 had devastating economic consequences for the state, as several businesses and sports organizations avoided North Carolina in protest of the bill. 

But Cooper went on to talk about the effects of the “culture wars” on education, saying that the state should stay “off the front lines of those culture wars that hurt people and cost us jobs,” likely referencing two pending pieces of legislation: the Parents’ Bill of Rights that limits discussions of sexuality and gender, and the anti-Critical Race Theory bill that limits how race is taught in public schools.

“Use public schools to build a brighter future, not to bully and marginalize LGBTQ students. Don’t make teachers rewrite history,” he said.

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