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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 11, 1998. Interview C-0336-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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.