RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Association of Educators endorsed Roy Cooper for governor at a news conference Wednesday morning.
The announcement was made at a news conference held by NCAE president Rodney Ellis and others. The NCAE represents teachers and others in the education field.
Cooper, the attorney general, is running for the Democratic nomination. The Democratic nominee will face Republican incumbent Pat McCrory.
“Roy Cooper is a champion for public education,” Ellis said. “As attorney general, as a state lawmaker, and now as a candidate for governor, he is a strong advocate for all students having the opportunity for a quality public education, for ensuring educators have the resources and support to be successful, and for returning North Carolina to its rightful spot as a leader in public education.”
Cooper appeared with the NCAE at the morning news conference.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of NCAE,” said Cooper. “I know how important it is that we work toward a world class public education and educators are a vital part of strong and successful public schools. There are teachers who are leaving our state for better pay and more respect and there are students attending schools who don’t have the resources they need to be successful. It is time for a Governor who will make education a priority.”
The announcement drew a blistering response from the Republicans. GOP state chairman Hasan Harnett, ina statement, said, “It’s no surprise that labor union bosses have cut a back-room deal to endorse Roy Cooper for more power and influence in our state’s capital.
“The NCAE and Cooper were willing accomplices to the years of pay freezes and the massive decline in teacher pay in North Carolina under Governors Easley and Perdue and care more about power for union bosses than educating our kids. In fact, teacher pay in North Carolina declined more than any other state in the country between 2002 and 2012.”