Reported by: Kevin Wuzzardo Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Robert Pittenger admit voters may know them best because of their TV ads. The candidates for Lieutenant Governor are both state senators. Their views on big issues differ greatly, perhaps most significantly on North Carolina's 30% high school dropout rate. Dalton says, "It is atrocious, but realize that it is a national problem, not a North Carolina problem," while Pittenger says, “Frankly this is not a nationwide problem. Many states have 80-85% graduation." Pittenger believes a big part of solving North Carolina's education problems is about having the right teachers and paying them properly. He wants flexible pay so schools can recruit faculty they need and merit pay for teachers. "You don't run a business by just opening your doors and paying everybody for how long they've been in the business with you. You pay them for how successful they've been," Pittenger said. Like Pittenger, Dalton supports customizing education and putting more technology in schools. Dalton also said he has a record of investing in education, and said that investment will help drive our economy. He also believes the Lieutenant Governor's seats on the Board of Education, the Community College Board, the Economic Development Board and the Health and Wellness Trust Fund should be used together. "Sitting on all those boards, it unifies that voice, and as Lt. Governor, you can amplify that voice." If elected to the state's second highest office, Pittenger said he will use his post as President of the Senate to make sure all voices are heard, not just those of the majority party. “We'll have an open and fair debate, and real, meaningful discussion on important issues." Pittenger said the state's tax rates must be lowered to help draw more businesses, but Dalton said we must also deal with major growth issues.
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