Under the Dome

June 11, 2014

McCrory: tax dollars for education should meet market demands

Speaking in Washington to the U.S. Chamber, Gov. Pat McCrory said the state may rethink how it ‘incentivizes’ classes at public universities.

Gov. Pat McCrory touted some of his ideas for helping employers find the skilled workers they need during a panel discussion at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s America’s Small Business Summit in Washington on Wednesday.

McCrory said that business people told him that they had a hard time filling job openings even when unemployment was high. He said that tax dollars for education “should be directed based on what commerce demands and the market demands.”

North Carolina subsidizes all students at public universities equally, but “I think we’re going to have to re-shift our subsidizing,” he said. Some classes in the future “might not be as incentivized” as others, based on market demand, he said without elaborating.

The governor also said that when he interviews people for appointments to the governing boards of universities and community colleges, he tells them, “You need to stress the importance of training based on what commerce needs,” though he added that problem-solving skills and “a broad curriculum” also were important.

McCrory also said that North Carolina had the second largest population of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. He told the audience at the national conference that his budget called for offering in-state college tuition for people who recently separated from the military.

“A lot of military members have listed Florida as their address even if they’re at Fort Bragg. Florida has no income tax. So when they come back we want them to stay in North Carolina, and I’m using the military as a recruitment tool to industry at this point in time,” he said. “And second it’s the right thing to do. We need to get them jobs and they deserve the jobs for what they’ve done.”

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