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Hunt takes center stage
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Hunt takes center stage
Former N.C. governor talks about education, future




Former Gov. Jim Hunt took center stage Wednesday night during prime time at the Democratic National Convention and talked about how Democratic governors during the last 50 years in North Carolina have stood out among Southern states.

"Terry Sanford was a hero of mine,” Hunt said to the cheering crowd. "He broke with most Southerners in 1960 and endorsed John F. Kennedy. When other southern governors stood in the schoolhouse door, Terry Sanford stood up for civil rights.”

Hunt, a Wilson County native who still resides in Rock Ridge, credits the work Sanford did with political, business and education leaders to build the universities and 58 community colleges and public schools that exits today. "The result – our high-tech thriving economy that you see today,” Hunt said.

Hunt said 20 years ago he came back from retirement because he knew good jobs depend on a good education.

"I wanted to make sure that a good education was available to every child in this state,” Hunt said. "We did extraordinary things in the next eight years. We built one of the best early childhood education programs in America called Smart Start.”

Hunt said the Smart Start program raised the bar in education in North Carolina.

"We raised standards of what students need to know, we raised professional standards for teachers, and raised teacher pay by 35 percent in just four years,” Hunt said to thunderous applause.

Hunt told the crowd that one of the most important jobs in America is the job of a teacher.

"They are building our country and folks, we should appreciate them, respect them, and we should pay them well,” Hunt said.

Hunt said the results of his educational program was clearly seen.

"Last year students born nearly 20 years ago in 1993 finished high school with the highest graduation rate in our history,” Hunt said. "They’d gone through Smart Start. They’d had great teachers and companies want to come here to North Carolina to hire them.”

Hunt said President Barack Obama is an education president.

"His race to the top program is doing more to spur us to improve our public schools than anything we’ve ever done in this nation,” Hunt said.

Hunt reminded the listeners that when Obama took office there was a near depression, and he along with Democratic leaders provided recovery funds that kept classrooms open.

"Two years ago, these funds saved nearly 20,000 teacher and education jobs, just here in North Carolina,” Hunt said. "That’s an average of nearly 200 per county.”

Hunt said Obama is focused on early childhood education.

"It is so important that every child starts to school healthy and ready to learn - I like to say ready to fly,” Hunt said. "He’s doubled funding for Pell grants. He beat back forces in Congress who wanted to double interest rates on college loans. He’s investing $115 million new dollars in historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) just here in North Carolina.”

Hunt said Obama has focused more on community colleges than any other president in history.

"President Barack Obama is a doer and we in America will do big things with him,” Hunt told the crowd.

Hunt took a moment to take a jab at Republicans.

"That other crowd just doesn’t get it,” Hunt said. "They say just cut taxes on the wealthiest, get rid of regulations, and job growth will happen like magic.”Hunt said this is not the time for Americans to believe in magic. He said it is a time to move education and the economy forward and re-elect the president.

"Let’s work our heads off,” Hunt said to a cheering crowd as he walked off the stage in Charlotte.

janet@wilsontimes.com | 265-7847
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ManyHaHa said...

That Hunt sure will Dog!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 12:42 PM
to FYI said...

to borrow a line from the movie Sling Blade, "I like the way you talk".

Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM
how much did the ousted democratic majority in Raleigh said...

raise teacher pay in the last four years MR Hunt. can you say zero. the republican majority in both houses of the state general assembly found room to give state employees and teachers a well deserved 2 percent raise and extra paid vacation time, even during these tough economic times. remember this state employees when you go to the polls in novemeber.

Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 6:59 AM
the king of political patronage said...

and corruption is a good one to be addressing this bunch of crooks. Hunt and his corrupt , self serving proteges led to the downfall of the 140 year democratic stranglehold the democratic party had on this great state and have sent the state democratic party into the abyss.

Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 6:55 AM
FYI said...

MLK SR and JR were lifelong republicans. Abraham Lincoln , who freed the slaves was a republican. JFK and LBJ passed landmark civil rights legislation with the help of northern republican senators and congressmen against the teeth gnashing of white racists southern democrats including Al Gore Sr and the longest serving U S senator and democratic icon , as well as former grand dragon of the KKK, the revered late Sen Robert Byrd (D) WV. Southern democratic racists southern governors George Wallace and Lester Maddox stood outside the doors of their respective state universities and tried to block minorities from their opportunity an equal education. makes you really wonder why african americans vote lock step , like lemmings led by a pied piper, at a 95 plus percent for democrats who pretty much take them for granted? It amazes me.

Thursday, September 06, 2012 at 6:52 AM
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