Governor Mike Easley signed the state's new budget Tuesday morning, saying it would make the state the nation's leader in education innovation.
The new budget provides almost $1 billion more in resources, increasing education funding some 9%.
It also provides $25 million for a new dental school at East Carolina University.
Other education highlights include:
*$100 million for EARN scholars so those with family income less than 200% of the federal poverty level can get two years of college debt free
*$11.5 million for Learn & Earn Online so more schools can improve high speed Internet access
*5% salary hike for public school teachers, community college instructors and university professors