Education is the foundation of our economy and our society. To have a bright future, we must renew our historic commitment to be second to none in educational opportunity.
Lifelong learning opportunities are critical for the people of Western North Carolina to be competitive in a rapidly changing world and we must invest wisely in all aspects of education including technological infrastructure, such as access to computers and high-speed internet.
We must work to see that our children start school healthy and ready to learn. We must also ensure that when they arrive, we have invested in enough quality teachers to keep their classroom sizes small and effective.
To discourage dropouts, we must invest in a learning environment that motivates our students to use these years of public education as a springboard to success.
Our community colleges are extraordinary and have shown phenomenal growth in recent years. These schools are vital to all students, from college aged to mid-career professionals to displaced workers. Investment in our community college system is essential in building the strong, local, and responsive economy that will provide security for our region's future.
Our state university system is a source of strength and economic leadership for our people. We must renew this state's constitutional commitment to keep tuition affordable and accessible to all our students. We must support WCU to be our region's Center of Excellence for higher education.
As the son of two public school teachers, both WCU graduates, as a parent of two college students, with both my wife and myself graduates of our great university system, I am deeply appreciative of the fact that quality education is the critical investment for Real Family Security.