N.C. House Plan Would Create Scholarship Program For Aspiring Teachers

Apr 23, 2015

Credit WUNC File Photo

House representatives in the state's General Assembly presented a bipartisan proposal on Thursday to create a scholarship program to help create highly-effective teachers.

The program, which received its first approval by a House Education Committee, would provide scholarship loans for individuals to attend “highly-effective” education schools. According to the bill, recipients would receive up to $8,500 per year.

“We need to attract and retain high-quality teachers and put them in the places where they’re needed the most,” said Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union).

Recipients would be required to commit to teaching in a hard-to-staff school or a hard-to-staff subject for at least four years.

In the Thursday committee meeting, Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick) noted the program sounded a lot like the N.C. Teaching Fellows program, which the state began phasing out in 2011.

Sponsors of the bill said unlike Teaching Fellows, the proposed program would accept high school students, current university or community college students, and those looking to make a lateral entry.

The Teaching Fellows program awarded education scholarships to high school students entering four-year universities. In return, students committed to teaching in North Carolina for at least four years.

The bill is headed to an appropriations committee where lawmakers will discuss funding.

House Education committee members also heard three other related bills.  One would encourage the state to continue its transition to digital learning. HB662 would create pilots around the state to implement differentiated pay programs for teachers, and HB902 would allow the state to contract with private groups to train and prepare principals.