Democrats wore the mantle of public education for more than a century in North Carolina as leaders like Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt led the way on raising teacher salaries and expanding student opportunity.
Now Republicans leading the General Assembly and living in the Executive Mansion for the first time in more than 140 years have shaken up the education establishment and offered their own formula for success.
They're aiming to wear the mantle now but the transition has been rough as Democrats and their allies have criticized their decisions and filed lawsuits challenging taxpayer-funded private-school scholarships and the end of teacher tenure rules.
Republicans tried to present a united front last week when they promised to raise salaries for the least experienced teachers to $35,000.
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