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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Gov. Cooper visits Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center

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Gov. Roy Cooper visiting with students of Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center on April 16. (NHCS)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Gov. Roy Cooper visited Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center as part of “The Year of Public Schools” education tour on Tuesday.

The governor was joined by teachers, students, local education leaders and local elected officials as he highlighted work being done at the Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center, New Hanover County Schools and the ways that public education is strengthening North Carolina’s communities.

“The Dorothy B. Johnson Pre-K Center is creating a strong foundation for children in New Hanover County,” Cooper said. “We need to make meaningful investments in Pre-K and our public schools so students across North Carolina are given the resources to succeed.”

Cooper again called for fully funding K-12 education as well as meaningful investments in early childhood education and teacher pay in the upcoming legislative session. He also called for a stop to state spending on private school vouchers for “unaccountable and unregulated private schools” until North Carolina’s public schools are fully funded.

“In New Hanover County Schools, public education begins with pre-K,” NHCS Superintendent Charles Foust said. “We have tripled our pre-K enrollment in the last decade because we believe every child should get equal access to a strong start at learning. Public schools are the cornerstones of our communities, and we are proud to have Gov. Cooper here to celebrate the dedication of our educators and the success of our students.”

This year, the governor will highlight North Carolina’s strong public schools, teachers and staff across the state to show the positive impacts of a well-funded public education system on the state’s economy and communities.

New Hanover County is a good example, according to the governor with its 88.4% graduation rate.

In 2023, North Carolina public school students earned more than 325,000 workforce credentials while in high school. More than 1,900 of those workforce credentials were earned by New Hanover County students. More than one-third of North Carolina high school graduates and 51% of graduates from New Hanover County took a college course for credit while in high school.North Carolina has the highest number of National Board-certified teachers in the country (over 24,000), including 225 in New Hanover County. 

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