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@NCCapitol

Proposals aim to get more people in NC teacher pipeline

Posted May 12, 2015

— A House committee on Tuesday approved two measures designed to boost teacher recruitment in the state.

House Bill 844 would set aside $2.9 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year and $5.4 million in the following year to create a loan program for students planning to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) or special education classes.

Students would receive $5,000 a year under the program, but sponsor Rep. Edward Hanes, D-Forsyth, said the State Education Assistance Authority could award more to match as much as possible the cost of attending a school in the University of North Carolina system. The state would then wipe out the loan if the student teaches a STEM or special education class anywhere in North Carolina for four of the six years after graduation – Hanes said students could take two years off during that period to earn a master's degree – or three straight years in a low-performing school district.

"There are 100,000 STEM jobs available right now that cannot be filled because we don't have students who are comfortable and competent in the areas of science and mathematics," Hanes said. "We need our best STEM teachers growing our science and math base at home so that North Carolina can claim our fair share of that growing economy."

Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union, asked why the program doesn't try to steer more students toward poorer districts, noting larger districts don't have much trouble attracting quality teachers.

Hanes replied that sponsors were trying to "find a sweet spot" so everyone could benefit from the program, not just certain areas. The home districts of students in the program would get the first crack at hiring them, he added.

Meanwhile, House Bill 602 would study ways to get students – from high schools, community colleges or those already on university campuses – into the teaching pipeline by recruiting them to study at colleges of education in the UNC system.

"There are scholarships and different programs that are available, but many of them are totally underutilized because there's no one connecting the dots for the students that the programs exist," said sponsor Rep. Jeff Elmore, R-Wilkes.

Both bills head next to the House Appropriations Committee.

10 Comments

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  • Hondo Creech May 13, 2015
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    Not sure where you got your information from since you didn't include a link. In 2008 NC was ranked 25th in the nation for teacher pay. That dropped to 48th under Republican leadership.

    www.nea.org/home/29402.htm

  • Terry Watts May 13, 2015
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    Under McCrony: "The NEA statistics for 2013-14 put the average salaries for North Carolina teachers at $44,990, which ranked 47th among the 50 states and District of Columbia."

    Under current GOP leadership, we have fallen the the LOWEST ranking we have ever achieved...

    (Is that the right word for such continued failure from our State leadership???)

    So, shall we blame the current problems on the past administrations (I don't mind blaming Bush) while ignoring the actual situation at hand???

    Or shall we concentrate on the failings of the actually administration that is in place to do something about it???

  • Clayton Mack May 13, 2015
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    The Republican General Assembly can be blamed for dismantling the NC Teaching Fellows program in the first place.

  • Abrams Tanker May 13, 2015
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    NEWSFLASH:
    1990-1991
    Governor James G Martin - R
    Teacher Beginning Salary - $19,810
    Ranked #29

    1995-1996
    Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. - D Teacher Beginning Salary - $20,620 Ranked #42

    2011-2012 Governor Beverly Purdue - D Teacher Beginning Salary - $30,779 Ranked #45

    Data from NEA.org

    Isn't it amazing what a simple Google search can uncover. Notice the pattern? Ranked #29 when a Republican was in office down to #45 under Democratic administrations. And you commenters blame Republicans? hahahahaha

  • Abrams Tanker May 13, 2015
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    The Democratic Governor's didn't show interest for 20 years (1993-2013). Now a Republican is in office for 2 years and it's the Republicans fault??? Teacher have been underpaid for decades in NC. Were you complaining then or are you just ranting because you dislike Republicans?

  • Terry Watts May 13, 2015
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    Offer them really good coffee???

  • Dolly Butler May 12, 2015
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    Hope the Republicans read these Comments. It is all a Big Show that they are interested in our teachers in North Carolina. Ask any man on the street what he suggests ....don't need a wizard!

  • Randy Riddle May 12, 2015
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    How would one recruit young people to devote their career to a job in NC that pays less than 41 other states in the US?

  • Jim Frei May 12, 2015
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    I would be willing to do a lateral entry to teach math or science...but not for less than $90K per year and a 10-month teaching schedule.

  • Clayton Mack May 12, 2015
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    I cannot believe this k rap. Why did they dismantle the NC Teaching Fellows program in the first place? Destroyed a model program with a proven record for success for nothing.