AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A FORGIVABLE LOAN PROGRAM FOR PROSPECTIVE STEM AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS.
Enacts new Part 3, North Carolina STEM and Special Education Scholars Program, in Article 23 of GS Chapter 116. Establishes the North Carolina STEM and Special Education Scholars Program (Program), administered by the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority), to provide forgivable loans for service to exemplary high school seniors who are committed to working as teachers of science, technology, engineering, math, or special education. Creates the North Carolina STEM Scholars Fund (Fund), administered by the Authority, consisting of funds appropriated to or otherwise received by the Authority to provide loans through the Program, all funds received as loan repayment, and all interest earned on the funds. Limits Fund use to (1) loans made under the statute, (2) the Authority's administrative costs, and (3) costs incurred by the Board of Governors in providing extracurricular activities to loan recipients. Requires the Authority to establish criteria for loan eligibility and requires recipients to be state residents attending an eligible institution. Establishes loan terms and conditions, including capping loan amounts at $5,000 per year. Sets out the repayment requirements and sets shorter teaching requirements for those who work at low-performing schools or those on warning status. Requires the UNC Board of Governors to administer extracurricular activities for participating students. Requires the Authority to report annually, beginning December 1, 2015, to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee regarding the Fund and loans awarded.
Appropriates $2.9 million for 2014-15 and $5.4 million for 2015-16 from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to implement the act. Specifies the amounts to be used to provide scholarships, for administering the Program, and for extracurricular activities.
Effective July 1, 2014.
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