Teaching Fellows Bill Passes House Committee on Higher Education

Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina House Committee on Higher Education approved legislation on Tuesday to reestablish the state’s Teaching Fellows program.  The proposal would provide a student loan forgiveness program for educators in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects who commit to teaching in the state.

House Bill 339 North Carolina Teaching Fellows is co-sponsored by more than 70 members of the North Carolina House of Representatives and would offer a similar benefit to special education teachers.  The loan forgiveness would cover tuition, books and fees for STEM and special education teachers in North Carolina.

The legislation was announced earlier in March at a press conference with state Superintendent Mark Johnson, UNC System President Margaret Spellings and primary bill sponsor Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union).

Senator Chad Barefoot (R-Franklin) is the primary sponsor of an identical bill in the state senate, Senate Bill 252.

“North Carolina has a rich and proud heritage of quality education,” said Rep. Horn at a press conference announcing the bill filing.

“We believe that the North Carolina Teaching Fellows will play a substantial role in raising the bar even further by supporting strong educator preparation programs that develop strong educators in our classrooms.”

House Bill 339 now moves to the House Committee on Appropriations because it has an expected price tag of $6 million per year.