Hunt-Lee Commission Releases Final Report  

April 25, 2022


Hunt-Lee Commission Releases Final Report  

Recommendations Identify Bipartisan Consensus Opportunities to  

Improve North Carolina’s Education System 


For Immediate Release    Contact: Julie Murphy
April 25, 2022 919-219-6387 |  ____________________________________________________________________________________  


Cary, NC. – The Hunt-Lee Commission today released its final report, which includes 16 recommendations to improve public education in North Carolina. The report was endorsed unanimously by all commission members, setting the stage for a productive bipartisan approach to addressing actionable policy levers that can move the needle for students.  

The Hunt-Lee Commission was formed to address stark differences in student outcomes, many of which have been made worse by the pandemic. The commission was tasked with identifying strategies to address some of the most deep-rooted challenges facing North Carolina’s education continuum and to strengthen the systems responsible for overseeing it.  

“We began this process with a broad mission to find areas of consensus to improve North Carolina’s public education system and, just eight months later, we have a set of tangible, actionable priority items that have the opportunity to meaningfully impact the lives of students,” said commission co-chairs Senators Michael Lee and Howard Lee. “We are deeply appreciative to the commissioners who engaged in this process, demonstrating their commitment to this important work, showing a relentless dedication to tackling tough issues and asking the complex questions that were necessary to arrive at the strong recommendations in our final report.” 


The recommendations fall into three broad categories:  


Build on what we have 

  • Strengthen our data information and sharing
  • Model potential enhancements to our school finance system
  • Increase the availability of childcare subsidies
  • Reduce barriers to access for NC Pre-K
  • Incentivize excellent teachers to work in high-needs schools
  • Expand the Advanced Teaching Roles pilot
  • Grow the school leader pipeline
  • Improve schools’ and districts’ ability to respond to student needs


Invite and test new ideas 

  • Identify opportunities to make early child education a financially viable career
  • Incentivize providers to open more spaces for infant and toddler care
  • Bridge student transitions from middle to high school


Implement proven solutions 

  • Expand home visiting programs
  • Renew and sustain the state’s financial support for students pursuing two-year degrees
  • Expand eligibility for in-state tuition
  • Increase non-academic supports for postsecondary students
  • Increase support for FAFSA completion


“It was no small feat getting this impressive group of leaders together from the public and private sectors,” said commission chair emeritus and founder of The Hunt Institute, Governor Jim Hunt. “The outcomes of this commission demonstrate how, when it comes to North Carolina’s students and education system, even within our diversity of backgrounds and beliefs we can indeed find common ground that advances our work.” 


The commission, named after four-term North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., and Institute Board Members Senators Howard Lee and Michael Lee, convened leaders from across North Carolina, including from education, business, government, and philanthropy. Together, they came together for four meetings to study critical topics spanning the education continuum. 


“The commission’s report embodies what The Hunt Institute does best: providing educators, policymakers, and those supporting them with the space and resources they need to improve educational opportunities for all of our state’s students,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, president & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “The commission leveraged those resources well, precisely hitting the mark with recommendations to take North Carolina’s education system to the next level.” 


Each meeting included presentations from resource experts and opportunities for Q&A and small group discussions. The final report summarizes those discussions, as well as feedback Commissioners shared on earlier drafts. 


“Every day, thousands of North Carolinians give their time and energy to educate our children,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “A shared commitment to supporting educators and making sure schools have the best opportunities to serve students is exactly what North Carolina needs to make positive change.” 


The commission includes bipartisan representation from the legislature, as well as state agencies and systems. 


About The Hunt Institute 

The Hunt Institute, an affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since its establishment in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. For more information, please visit: 



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