Gov. Perdue today, welcomes more than 1.5 million students back to school today, for the 2012-13 school year.
"Providing students with a great education is among the most important things we can do to create jobs over the long term," Gov. Perdue said. "It's unfortunate that after the General Assembly's budget, schools in North Carolina will have $190 million less this year than they had last year. But I'm confident that the dedicated, hard-working teachers and other education professionals across North Carolina will do their very best to make this a successful year."
In 2012, 80.2 percent of students who started ninth grade in 2008-09 completed high school in four years or less. That is the highest graduation rate in North Carolina history and the sixth consecutive year of improvement. Since 2006, the percentage of students graduating from high school in four years or less has risen 11.9 percent.
"We are on the right track, but there's room for continued growth," Gov. Perdue said. "Schools are going to be forced to do more with less, but I hope we can improve on the record-setting 80.2 percent four-year graduation rate from last year."
Gov. Perdue knows that investments in technology and digital learning are critically important to student success. Her 2010 budget funded a new diagnostic assessment program that featured hand-held mobile devices that allows teachers to adjust instruction and track individual student progress.
"Using technology in innovative ways will transform education in America," Gov. Perdue said. "North Carolina has become a national leader in this area, and we must continue investing in technology and building the number of mobile devices, smart boards, tablets, and other innovative tools that teachers need to prepare students for a 21st century career. These are the tools that will help our students thrive in the classroom."