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NEWS RELEASES 1999-00 :: JUNE 1, 2000


The State Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution during its regular June meeting today to offer its support to Senate Bill 912, The Michael K. Hooker Facilities Financing Act. Board members encouraged voters and other educational leaders at the local and state levels also to offer their support.

This act authorizes a statewide bond referendum in November to fund new buildings and capital renovations on the campuses in the University of North Carolina System and the North Carolina Community College System.

State Board Chairman Phillip J. Kirk, Jr., said the resolution was intended to "send the signal that we support all levels of education in North Carolina." He noted that the North Carolina School Boards Association also is asking local school boards to approve a similar resolution in support of community college and university bonds.

State Superintendent Mike Ward noted that lending support to the higher education effort was the right thing for K-12 educational leaders to do. "In 1996, many leaders in the higher education community, as well as other groups, offered their support to the $1.8 billion bond referendum that has benefited local school districts and their students ever since," he said. "This is the right action for us to take now."

The capital needs of the university and community college systems in North Carolina are estimated to be in excess of $3 billion. During this decade, at least 100,000 additional qualified students are expected to seek entrance into community colleges or universities.

Approximately 62,000 high school seniors are expected to graduate

this year, and 70 percent of them expect to attend public universities or community colleges.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.