More funds, not less

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Republicans who now control the N.C. General Assembly kept their promises to cut state spending. They certainly did just that.

But they cut spending in one area that should not have been cut: North Carolina’s Teaching Fellows Program. We join other media outlets, including the Beaufort Observer, in taking the Legislature to task for cutting one state program that has proved worth every penny spent on it.

Under the program, graduating high-school students who are academically sound are provided four-year scholarships to colleges and universities in exchange for agreeing to teach in public schools in North Carolina for a minimum of four years after they graduate. The program is an excellent way to entice some of the state’s brightest students into becoming some of the state’s best teachers.

Spending money on this program is an excellent use of taxpayers’ money, way better than some other education-related programs funded by the state. There’s no doubt the state is getting a great return on its investment with the Teaching Fellows Program.

The program provides opportunities for those who want to become teachers but perhaps cannot afford to attend college to realize their dreams of becoming teachers. This is a program that should be receiving more funding, not less.

The Legislature can and should increase funding for the program.