N.C. HOUSE REP. BRAD SALMON INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO HELP TEACHERS PAY OFF STUDENT LOAN DEBT
RALEIGH, N.C. - House Bill 1031 would appropriate $38.5 million to pay off outstanding student loan debt of current North Carolina Public School Teachers. The bill would create the new North Carolina Teacher HELP Fund, which would pay off teachers’ student loans in amounts up to $10,000. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Graig Meyer, Ed Hanes, Bobbie Richardson, and Brad Salmon. January’s record Powerball jackpot created a revenue windfall for education funding.
House Bill 1031 would put those funds into the pockets of teachers by helping them pay off student loans. “It is far past time for the General Assembly to step up and demonstrate to teachers that they are respected and appreciated. This bill will allow us to take our unexpected Powerball revenue and spend it on helping keep high quality teachers in the classroom,” Salmon said.
The North Carolina Education Lottery received $38.5 million from the run of record jackpots in January. This revenue is not included in our existing budget but does have to be spent this year. House Bill 1031 would authorize the NC State Education Assistance Agency to administer the North Carolina Teacher HELP Fund in an effort to provide immediate debt relief to more than 3,800 teachers. In exchange for accepting the assistance, teachers must commit to remain employed as a classroom teacher for four years.
The NC Teacher HELP Fund fits within traditional Lottery funding priorities and certainly does not supplant any existing funding.
Rep. Brad Salmon speaking at a press conference on HB1031
Coverage of the legislation and press conference is featured on UNC-TV's Legislative Week In Review. View the episode at: http://video.unctv.org/video/2365747381/ (Coverage starts 10:40 into the episode)