Viewpoint

Revive these Fellows

From an editorial in the (Raleigh) News & Observer on Wednesday:

The letters have begun to come to newspapers, and posts have been put on Facebook, to celebrate and mourn the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, one of the great blessings to public education.

The 30-year-old program offered college scholarships to bright students in exchange for their commitment to teach for four years. It worked in a spectacular fashion.

A teacher shortage looms, with older teachers in stagnant pay scales opting out of the profession and younger teachers wondering why they should have to struggle when there are other options.

But this spring marks the end of the Teaching Fellows program, the last class of new teachers to be graduated.

Why, against practical need and common sense and concern for public education, would state lawmakers and the governor allow the program to end?

Well, Republicans apparently thought the program was a brainchild of liberals, so they just decided to kill it off out of spite.

Testimonials from the fellows themselves abound.

“This program allowed me to find a way to pay for college when I otherwise couldn’t. ... It’s 11 years later, and I’m still teaching. North Carolina, we need it back.”

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