Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. is widely considered the nation’s education governor. He is the longest-serving governor in the history of North Carolina (1977-1985 and 1993-2001). Among many accomplishments during his 16 years in office, Hunt pioneered the Smart Start early education program, added teacher assistants in grades 1-3, and increased education investments to put North Carolina at the national average in teacher pay.
Currently, Governor Hunt chairs the Board of Directors of two institutes, which he founded in the University of North Carolina – the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy in Chapel Hill and the Institute for Emerging Issues at N.C. State University in Raleigh.
Governor Hunt’s work has been recognized with numerous national awards. Most recently, he was named Learning First Alliance’s 2014 Education Visionary Award Winner as well as the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Policy Leader of the Year.
Public Schools First NC is privileged to share this interview with Governor Hunt.
0:38 “I was involved in public education my whole life and was formed by it.”
2:20 “Too many children were coming to school not ready.”
5:00 “We ought to be expanding pre-K.”
6:09 “We put a large number of teacher assistants into the schools…to make sure every child learns to read.”
7:31 “The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program was one of the best things we ever did.”
8:58 “We must raise teacher pay in North Carolina…put the money in the budget to do it.”
11:37 “You ought to pay them all an adequate salary.”
13:37 “Students should come to our public schools; we shouldn’t be giving them money to go to private schools.”
14:40 “Those companies come because of our education…that’s why the jobs come.”
16:38 “Education should be a bipartisan matter.”
18:32 “The goal we should have for all of our children is to provide a really excellent education and an equally good education for every child in North Carolina.”
20:01 “It’s time to get back on this path to excellence.”