In 2014, the State General Assembly ended funding for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, which offered free scholarships to college for top-notch high school graduates willing to spend four years teaching in North Carolina schools. It had been around since 1986.
This session, the pressure is on to restore funding for the $13.5 million program, with bills in both the Senate and House addressing it. However, the bills are sponsored by Democrats, and in a Republican-run General Assembly, they may face opposition, especially in the face of an estimated $200 million shortfall.
Attorney General Roy Cooper said that part ($15 million) of the state’s portion of a $21.5 million settlement with Standard & Poor’s should go to restore the program.
Right now, 4,500 fellows are in state public schools, and the last to graduate from the program will finish school in May.