Friday, June 14, 2013

Restore the NC Teaching Fellows Program

I believe the Senate Leadership is in error concerning the decision to eliminate the NC Teaching Fellows Program. Both my daughter and her husband were 2003 Teaching Fellows. They fit the requirements of being the "best and the brightest" and are dedicated educators to this day.

My daughter was recruited and accepted to many colleges, including an elite Ivy. In the end, she chose to accept the Teaching Fellows scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill. My son-in-law, second runner-up for the prestigious Park Scholarship, chose to accept the Teaching Fellows at NC State. Both of them attended college with the assistance of the Teaching Fellows Program.

In my view, the Teaching Fellows Program needs additional funding. While we were - and are - immensely grateful for the scholarship, it does not come close to being "a free ride." My daughter still had to take a student loan. Given that teachers are woefully underpaid, she will be paying this back for years to come.

I remember the day we went to purchase my daughter's textbooks. The bookstore had not yet received the money from the State of NC and they would not allow her to take her books that day. As a contrast, many of the football scholarship students were, indeed on a free ride. And, guess what? The bookstore handed over their books with no waiting.

The Teaching Fellows Program is a proven success. The evaluations and years of experience is clear. NC is a national model for teacher recruitment. Please restore it.

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