Reorganizing executive branch and creating free kindergarten were legislative priorities
Scott mentions some of the more important issues of his governorship, including the reorganization of the executive branch and the effort to create a free public kindergarten system.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 11, 1998. Interview C-0336-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
But what would you say were, say, four or five of the most
important issues that you dealt with?
- ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Those two that you mentioned, of course, and another was the
reorganization of the executive branch of government, where we went
from, essentially, the commission form of government to a cabinet form
of government. Not much attention is given to that, it didn't
seriously impact programs, as such; it affected
people. It affected the structure of government, and the built-in
reporting systems were put in place. So that was another one.
I think we would have to say that, of course, education is outrageously
important, and the public school
kindergarten—although in my administration, we
didn't really get going on it, we had to get that revenue
first. And when we found out that I wanted to put it in
place—and I said, you know, I did
my—this is again where I probably
didn't do enough research ahead of time. I was focused on
getting the public school kindergarten program going. Well, I found out
we weren't ready. The schools of education in the state
hadn't turned out kindergarten school teachers. They
didn't have them trained. The second thing was that
kindergartens require, like any schools, more than just a room; they
require different equipment, for little kids. And a different
environment, if you will. And so there had to
be—and we weren't all that skilled at,
not only being ready, but knowing how to get ready. So what we did was
put up, I think, five pilot projects, one in each school district around
the state. And that's as far as we got with that
administration. And in the meantime, the schools of education at the
universities were starting cranking out the kindergarten teachers.
So I think even though—that was an issue that we
dealt with which I thought was very important. Another was the
environmental laws. By today's standards, I don't
guess, it probably looks like pablum. But it was sort of breaking new
ground, back at that time. Oh, golly, I don't know. Again, I
think I mentioned this in my earlier interview
with you, or your interview with me, that I was a
generous—and it's hard to say, but
focused on one or two, three things. I tried to pay attention to all
layers of government.