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Cooper slams lawmakers for bypassing statewide school bond

July 10th, 2018

— Gov. Roy Cooper criticized lawmakers Tuesday for not putting a $2 billion statewide school construction bond on the ballot this fall.

Cooper toured Stough Elementary School in Raleigh and other schools in the Triangle to highlight the need for more funding for school repairs and renovation to keep up with the state’s growth.

Built in 1968, Stough Elementary is one of the older schools in the Wake County Public School System. The school is so old that the gymnasium can’t even accommodate the student body, and several classes are outside the school in trailers.

The school district plans to use its bonds to demolish and rebuild Stough Elementary during the 2019-20 school year.

Cooper said schools around the state are in much worse shape than Stough Elementary, and many counties aren’t as prosperous as Wake County and lack the means to renovate them.

Last year, a proposed statewide school bond had strong bipartisan support in the legislature, but this year, Republican legislative leaders said they weren’t willing to put that much debt before voters on the November ballot.

North Carolina voters have not had a statewide school bond referendum since 1996.

Cooper said skipping a new school bond was just one of many things legislators left undone as the 2018 election looms closer.

“People are tired of the legislature shortchanging public education, clean air and water and health care, and I think that this will be a big year for challengers against incumbents,” he said.

Article source: https://www.wral.com/cooper-slams-lawmakers-for-bypassing-statewide-school-bond/17687660/

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