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RALEIGH, NC – Following a new nonpartisan report calling for increased public school funding, Cal Cunningham pledged to be an advocate for North Carolina public schools and students in the U.S. Senate, unlike Senator Thom Tillis, who from Raleigh to Washington has failed North Carolina students.
“This report makes it plain that we are failing the children of North Carolina, and our state took a severe turn away from progress when Thom Tillis came to power as Speaker — eliminating teaching positions and underfunding education,” said Cal Cunningham. “Then, after going to Washington and casting the deciding vote to put Betsy DeVos in charge of public education, Thom Tillis is asking for six more years in office by pointing to that failed record. I have a different vision for North Carolina, and in the U.S. Senate, I’ll work to fulfill the promise of a sound, basic public education by making sure all children have well-paid and well-prepared teachers in their classrooms, access to high-quality early childhood programs, and schools where they feel welcome, safe, and challenged, regardless of zip code or circumstance.”
The report follows the Leandro decision on school funding, and notes that North Carolina is further away from meeting its obligation to provide North Carolina students with educational opportunities than it was at the time of the decision because of inadequate resources.
As the Speaker of the House in Raleigh, Tillis passed a budget that eliminated thousands of teaching jobs, increased class sizes, and cut funding for textbooks and other supplies.
In the State Senate, Cal fought for smaller class sizes and increased teacher pay. He also voted to start what’s known today as North Carolina Pre-K, so North Carolina kids could have a strong start.
In the U.S. Senate, Cal is committed to ensuring there is a highly-qualified, well-paid teacher in every classroom, and investing in kids’ futures through access to early childhood education and much needed investments in public schools. He will work to ensure full funding for Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), ensure rural school districts have reliable funding to deliver services for their students, and support investments in specialized instructional support personnel to support students with unique academic and developmental needs.