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Cooper Pushes School Safety Proposals In WNC

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Matt Bush BPR
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Governor Cooper speaks at T.C. Roberson High School Monday morning

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper toured Western North Carolina Monday, and at his first stop he touted his latest budget proposal regarding school safety.  The governor says it would help with a problem that has been disrupting schools in the region the past two months. 

One of the after effects at least in Western North Carolina of the shooting that took place at a South Florida high school in February has been a rising number of threats made against schools that turn out to be false. This has been a particular problem in Henderson and Macon Counties.   Speaking at T.C. Roberson High School in Buncombe County, Governor Cooper says these threats must be taken seriously, but he adds better mental health programs in school – something he wants to spend more money on as outlined in a new budget plan - would help alleviate the problem some.   “Clearly we don’t need our schools being disrupted.  We know for a fact that kids are suffering from mental health issues as a result of what happened at Parkland, and as a result of potential fears in schools.”

The bump in mental health funding is just a part of the $130-million plan the governor outlined last week.  It has some similarities and some differences from what two General Assembly committees have been discussing regarding school safety, and Cooper thinks he and Republican leaders can find common ground on mental health funding when lawmakers return to Raleigh next month.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
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