Governor Cooper and several members of his Education Cabinet stressed the importance of focusing on early childhood education during their cabinet meeting yesterday.
- Governor Cooper highlighted that ensuring more children are enrolled in PreK is one of his goals.
- Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said that her department’s primary focus in 2018 will be early childhood, including ensuring that young children are healthy, loved, safe, ready to learn and ready to succeed.
- Superintendent Mark Johnson highlighted early childhood education as a top priority, including expanding access to PreK and empowering parents with knowledge of how to improve their children’s literacy.
- NC State Board of Education member Buddy Collins, representing Board Chair Bill Cobey who wasn’t able to attend, seconded the priorities highlighted by Superintendent Johnson.
Other Education Cabinet members include Hope Williams, President of NC Independent Colleges and Universities; Tony Copeland, Secretary of Commerce; Margaret Spellings, President of the UNC System (represented at the meeting by Junius Gonzales); and Jennifer Haygood, Acting President of the Community Colleges.
The Cabinet has been tasked by the Governor to address three key issues:
- Teacher recruitment and retention
- Post-secondary attainment for workforce development
- Cross-sector data sharing