Lt. Gov. Dan Forest needs at least 500 people to sign up for “I Support Teachers” license plates, part of his effort to fund teacher raises through private donations.
Forest announced last May that he’s creating the North Carolina Education Endowment Fund, which will allow individuals and corporations to receive tax deductions for supporting teacher pay. The fund also plans to raise money by selling specialty license plates, but Forest must first reach the state’s requirement of 500 paid applications seeking a plate.
“This is not only an opportunity to raise money for great teachers, but also an opportunity to let all our teachers know we appreciate their service,” Forest says in a video posted this week. “The ‘I Support Teachers’ license plate initiative is the first step toward creating a sound foundation for the North Carolina Educational Endowment and planning for the future of teaching excellence in North Carolina through an innovative and self-sustaining fund.”
According to the website, isupportteachers.com, a standard plate costs $20, while personalized plates cost $50. The “I Support Teachers” plates would join dozens of other available specialty plates promoting causes ranging from shag dancing to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
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The law establishing the Education Endowment gives legislators authority to spend the money “for teacher compensation that is related directly to improving student academic outcomes in the public schools of the state.”
“I believe that North Carolina’s highest performing teachers should be among the highest paid in the nation,” Forest says in the video.
Here’s the video of Forest promoting the program: