Another example of unethical legislative work creating unfair favoritism of select few


In 2003 a tuition grant clause was slipped into the state budget favoring certain students by granting free tuition at UNC campuses for graduates of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, the prestigious state boarding school in Durham. The provision was slipped in during budget planning by a Senator chairing the appropriations committee.

Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, is the driving force behind the tuition grant. She used her influence as chairwoman of an appropriations committee to insert the grant into the budget.

The provision is unfair to the state's other high-achieving high school graduates. This is yet another example of unethical practices in the legislative process that representatives use to slip in bills favoring selected groups and is both unethical and a conflict of interest. Read the entire news release...

News and Observer
April 6, 2007
Jane Stancill and Lynn Bonner, Staff Writers

Free tuition facing scrutiny
Law's origins, premise under fire

DURHAM - For the third time, opponents are lining up against a law that grants free tuition at UNC campuses for graduates of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, the prestigious state boarding school in Durham.

This time, the deal may get the scrutiny that opponents say it deserves. A bipartisan bill in the state House seeks to repeal a law that has granted free tuition to 577 students since 2004 at a cost of nearly $1.9 million. Once fully phased in, it will cost taxpayers more than $2.7 million. Read more...

Front paged by Anglico. Great entry.

Comments

I've never understood this push

I may be missing something, but if the students at the SSM are so great, why can't they compete for scholarships just like everyone else?

Front-paged.

It keeps them in state.

We create these great students with our state tax dollars, then they go out of state for college. With this program, we keep more of them here in our own system.

I disagree with this diary.


One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

It does appear to be a conflict of interest, at least from this one article. I'd be interested to see more stories about this.

I'd also be interested in seeing some support for students of the social sciences - I'd love for my poli-sci bound son to have a way to free tuition somehow.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Math and Science is really just a name.

All academically gifted students can apply to NCSSM, no matter what their academic strength is. The humanities and english and history departments there are just as rigorous and challenging as the science and math departments. My son was never a science or math whiz. His thing was language and communication. He's a history major at UNC now, concentrating in Ancient and Medieval history. He took as little math and science as possible after SSM. :)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Someone correct me if I'm

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard from a number of people that in the original planning for Science and Math and the School for the Arts, there were going to be two to three additional schools emphasizing humanities, foreign languages, and... technology? Science and Math does cover humanities and technology pretty thoroughly, but its still an interesting thought.

The idea for NCSSM and the school of the arts came from John Ehle, a novelist who Terry Sanford hired as an idea man for his administration. Pretty remarkable -- can you imagine Easley (or Bush for that matter) hiring a fiction writer to help him think up new, outside of the box policy ideas?

If I remember correctly

there was/is talk of two more rigorous schools in NC (one in the west and one in the east), but I don't know if they'd be a Western SSM and Eastern SSM or a NC School of Humanities and Liberal Arts and a NC School of _________ , or what.

Oddly enough, one of the primary arguments for not creating more of these amazing public boarding schools so that more kids have the incredible opportunities they offer is what Robert pointed out. The school does such an extraordinary job of educating the kids that the best Universities and Colleges in the nation (some you've never heard of) come to Durham every year trying to snatch up graduates and cart all that investment the State of NC put into educating those kids right on out of state.

I really apologize to everyone. This issue is working my LAST nerve. Partly because it is borne of people just not knowing what they're talking about. And partly for personal 'Momma bear' reasons. If I wanted to get huffy about the whole thing, I'd say the effort to repeal the NCSSM tuition grants (1/2 academic scholarships) is just plain petty whiney vengeful backlash against smart people who don't mind working hard in high school. Anti-smart backlash ain't new, but it's reached a fever pitch since Rush and Karl et al. decided that smart people suck (because they can't be bamboozled so easy) and I am sick of it. It's an attitude that is horribly damaging to our entire society. And I'm damn sick and tired of my kids having to constantly apologize for being smart and play it down.

Is there a way to find out how much those thousands of atheletic Grant-in-Aid packages that get handed out every year on UNC system campuses are costing the state of NC? And before we start talking about how atheletes make Universities money, please, somebody, tell me how a swim team and a Lacrosse team make any University more money than is brought in by the geeks and nerds and their research grants in the history, psychology, geology, paleobotany, physics, materials science and genetics departments.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

They say it's a merit scholarship.

So why can't they take the same amount of money and let all high school graduates in the state compete for it? If they repeal the program, will the money still be available for scholarships, or will it be diverted to some other use?

I think it's a great idea to offer scholarships to try to keep more of the best and brightest students in the state, but it seems like it would be more fair to give all students a chance to compete for it, instead of only the students at one elite school.

Not so fast ...

I strongly, STRONGLY disagree. The tuition grant is a merit scholarship. Every year, across NC, some of the brightest kids this state has leave their high schools where they are big fish, top 2-5% academically, and make the pilgrimage to NCSSM. They leave their families, friends, cars, jobs and comfort... for what? To get the best possible education they can. That's all.

Many of these kids are from small and/or low wealth schools where they get about as much challenge as Einstein at a community checkers match. NCSSM is mandated to offer places to at least 2 young men and 2 young women from every county in the state. So, if a bright kid happens to be in a small school with few resouces rather than at Broughton or Chapel Hill High or any of the other top twenty schools in NC which happen to all be in high wealth areas around the largest cities in NC she has an option, an opportunity to do more.

Why can't she compete for merit scholarships like all the other kids at all the other high schools? Because when she takes that option and goes to NCSSM, she gives up an almost guaranteed major academic scholarship because her Junior and Senior years at school she's probably not going to be in the top 10 of her class. But she knows that. She accepted a spot at SSM to push herself, to learn more, to get better. And too many of these best and brightest were leaving NCSSM to go to college out of state -- having been offered aide/scholarship packages from out of state colleges who visit SSM every year to recruit the best.

So ... Had each of those NCSSM kids stayed at their home high schools, all of them would have been in the running for Park and Morehead scholarships, and other very attractive in-state private and public scholarships and aide packages. But they "Accept the Greater Challenge", 95% of them knowing it takes them out of the running for all those prestigious academic scholarships, because they want to push harder, work harder, do more and learn more.

We hate hate hate this tuition grant (not room and board, mind you) given to extraordinarily gifted high school students in NC as reward for challenging themselves and excelling academically ... and yet, thousands of gifted atheletes get complete grant-in-aid packages from every UNC system school and nobody says boo.

Full Disclosure: My son left Clayton High School where he was bored to tears, never studied, never did homework, read the books he had to read in a few hours the night before tests and he went to NCSSM to be taught by people with Masters and PhDs -- free. That school saved his academic career by teaching him how to work hard and love it. It taught him joy. As a result, it probably his life. He's a student at UNC now and, yes, the tuition grant is why he's there. I fully support the NCSSM tuition grant. When the legislature makes comprehensive grant in aids illegal at all UNC system schools, I'll rethink my position.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I agree with you.


One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

A different problem

My problem with the tuition grant is different than most. I think its an acceptible solution for the problems of getting regular scholarships and stopping the brain drain out of state, but its created some unwanted side effects. One of the great parts about NCSSM when I was there was all the students wanted something more from school than they could get at home -- it creates an incredible environment that makes it so valuable to students like your son.

With tution grants, I'm concerned parents will start pushing there kids to go just for the free tution grant, not because students are particularly eager to push themselves. I've run into a few of my old teachers and asked them about this, and they said they've definately noticed a shift in the student body since the policy was implemented.

Ideally, we should be able to come up with a strategy that keeps kids in state and gives them equal access to scholarships without threatening the academic environment that exists at the school. Don't know what that would be, though.

That unintended consequence is real.

I've seen it myself. What could be done to mitigate it?

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

the solution is there

I think the solution has been mentioned elsewhere on the thread -- some sort of state-wide program for students, where if you acheive a certain level of academic acheivement, the state gives you a tuition grant. Period. Georgia has such a system, funded by their lottery, where all students with a 3.0 or greater pays no tuition.

If this were implemented, parents wouldn't push their kids to go to NCSSM because they'll probably be getting a tuition grant anyway. Meanwhile, the school's academic environment wouldn't be damaged by kids only there for scholarship money. This would also reduce brain drain from schools across the state, not just NCSSM.

Or maybe, we just lower tuition to state schools across the board, so that its less of an issue. Novel concept, eh?

damn straight

Or maybe, we just lower tuition to state schools across the board, so that its less of an issue

why get bogged down in things like "is this good or bad?" when the solution is staring us in the face.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

It's not clear to me...

why this shouldn't be a statewide scholarship program. I understand your argument that by enrolling at NCSSM, these kids knowingly accept lower class ranks. I'm just not sure that's reason enough to limit the scholarship program to only NCSSM students. NCSSM's reputation is so well-known that I don't think lower class ranks hurt NCSSM kids all that much. Scholarship committees know that the competition at NCSSM is tougher than at other schools and take that into account. I agree, attending NCSSM hurts these students' chances for geographically-limited scholarships like the Morehead, but you could design a statewide scholarship program that didn't limit the number of scholarships awarded by area/school or that didn't take class rank into account. My concern is for the scores of kids throughout the state who don't attend NCSSM and don't win big scholarships like the Morehead but still deserve some scholarship money. Why should they be shut out of even competing for money?

I also understand Robert's point above that the state has invested lots of money to educate these kids, and we, as a state, don't want them to bolt to other schools/states. However, the same could be said for the kids I mentioned - those who don't win the Morehead and don't attend NCSSM but deserve money. We've invested lots of money to educate these kids, and we should be just as reluctant to lose them.

Now there's an idea I can support ...

FIX the program, don't kill it.

Expand the tuition grant to all public NC schools. Tuition grants for all academically gifted kids and those who are hard workers and keep themselves in the top2% of their Senior class by sheer grit and determination.

But first, we'd have to revamp high school teacher payscales across the board and start hiring good tough super smart teachers with advanced degrees who challenge and support their students and who don't take excuses or tardies or laziness from anybody for any reason.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

poor policy, maybe...

Though I agree this probably isn't good policy, I think its a little extreme to call it unethical and corrupt. NCSSM and the school of the arts are incredible assets to the state -- they are the legacy of a remarkably progressive vision from the state's past Democratic leaders, and have served as examples for other schools across the country. A lot of their prestige comes from the fact that they haven't been afraid to experiment and try new things. This particular experiment seems pretty dumb, but was meant to address real concerns -- that the school was bleeding graduates to other states after having invested a lot of money in them, and that often times graduates have a harder time competing for scholarships than if they had stayed at their original school and been valedictorian, president of this and that club, etc.

The method is unacceptible and the policy is poor, but I have trouble believing its a scheme to scratch the back of a 'select group' of nerdy high school kids. I have an equal amount of trouble thinking its all an elaborate scheme to reward the husband of the campaign manager of one state senator. I hope Sen. Hagan could have thought of better, more subtle ways to accomplish that end.

Full Disclosure -- I once graced the halls of NCSSM, but too long ago to have gotten the free tuition deal.

I pay full price

at NC State, and paid too big a chunk of the bill at a private school I spent two years at before I came home to State.

I have no problem with these kids getting a free ride.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

This is off-topic, but I need some help.

Can anyone help me put the NC Supreme Court justices on an ideological continuum from liberal to conservative? My list is below (#1 being most liberal). Thanks in advance for any help.
1. Patricia Timmons-Goodson
2. Robin E. Hudson
3. Sarah Parker, Chief Justice
4. Mark Martin
5. Robert H. Edmunds, Jr.
6. Edward Thomas Brady
7. Paul Martin Newby

no idea

the first 3 are democrats.

Martin is a Republican
from the court's own website is this:
"Justice Brady is a conservative Southern Baptist. "

dont know anything substantial about newby or edmunds

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Newby is

definitely a conservative Republican, to the right of Martin. At least that's what he ran as from what I remember.

Edmunds I don't know anything about.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Great question

I confess I have no idea. Zero. The only glimmer of knowledge I have is from a friend who should know who said none of them would qualify as "liberal" in any sense we know. Of course, that could be full of bull.

Great question.

This is giving me so much to think about

and is one of the many reasons I love this place. Thoughtful people and good discussion.

Thank you.

Great discussions! but...

All great discussions. Interesting to see/hear views from different perspectives.

But... at the outset the issue was how the plan got started (slipped into the budget without much debate and scrutiny) and how this was used to favor a few and not provide grants and help for all that need them.

It still shows how a few work the system and slip in items that may not represent or addressed all citizens' needs. It is a bit unethical and unfair and perhaps should be undone or made more available to all that might need help. But then whoever said life was fair anyway!

John P

Good to be getting us back on track!

I have the feeling this is how MOST legislation happens. It may have been worse in the past, but it's still pretty much politics as usual. Horse-trading. You're one of the less than .01 percent of people paying attention.

Unequal is not, in itself, the same as unfair

If someone has pointed it out in this thread already and I missed it I apologize, but I just thought I'd highlight the fact that SSM kids are already a part of the university system. I don't see anything wrong with a program built on the presumption that kids who come into this special early-entry academy and survive two years deserve the scholarship they get.

It seems that what those commenting here don't like about it is that it is restricted to SSM students. Fair enough (although I don't hear anyone complaining that lunch in the cafeteria or rides to the mall on the goofy SSM bus are restricted as well). I'd call that strategic use of resources. If every single one of the kids in an SSM graduating class took the scholarship, the cost to the state would be between $500,000 and one million dollars. To keep 250 of the state's best and brightest here. (Of course, not even close to every student will take the scholarship, but the costs and benefits are in a pretty much linear relationship.) And the cost of administering the scholarship is tiny – the work of identifying SSM Unis is being done anyway.

In case you can't tell, I think it's a great program. I can't imagine how you could distribute $500,000 (or $1.9 million, or $2.7 million) to college entrants and do as much good for the state with the same or greater efficiency.

Context

Has to be examined in context.

What does the broader revenue picture look like? Is this a tenth of one percent of the funding? Then it would make sense. If it's 15%, that's a harder call. If it's 80% . . . it's a bad idea.

Maybe they do deserve the scholarships they get. The bigger question is "who else deserves scholarships and doesn't get them?"

A

Good to see you out and about. I miss your ideas and insights.

The efficiency of program administration is a good point, but it's certainly not a sufficient condition.

I would agree that there really ought to be a study

done to figure out (as nearly as possible) what we're getting for what we're paying. But then, I think that about everything.

Here's a question: what has the Pope Center had to say about this? I'm going to go check.

A, thanks

I miss these conversations. I just have one too many things right now, so no matter what I'm doing, I'm neglecting something else. But today it's nice to be neglecting other stuff for a time while I'm working on BlueNC. :)

There is dissention in the McCord household

Arica went to Science and Math, and she thinks the scholarship program is "stupid." (Which reminds me – I recall having long chats about this scholarship with Arica and her SSM friends before it became law, which makes me doubt seriously the claim that it was shoved through the legislature in the dead of night.)

Her main problem with it is that most SSM students stay in state anyway, so in order to keep the few who would not have without the grant, we're turning down 1/2 tuition from people who would have probably paid at least some part of that.* She also says that the smartest people in her class went to State, so maybe the scholarship isn't even helping to keep the right kids. These are good points.

*I really doubt, however, that SSM kids are paying full fare for any college that they go to, so money they receive from the Old North State is more likely freeing up some other funds for other students. I have no idea how to quantify that, but I'd be surprised if this effect weren't significant. In this sense, the $$$ NC spends on these kids is lowering college costs for other worthy teens.

I was one of the parents

who signed the petition to the Lege in Spring 2004 in support of the tuition grants and there was discussion and push back from I can't remember where back then. It was not snuck into anything. The issue for parents in 2003-2004 was that top students from small schools in rural counties were coming to SSM for the academic challenge and being penalized because by doing that they really did literally take themselves out of contention for the big academic scholarships at UNC system schools which was horribly unfair to them. The half scholarship, or tuition grant, was a compromise way to aleviate some of that penalty for those kids.

Also, I would agree with Lance's guess that these grants do free up other monies for other deserving kids, like Carolina Covenent money at UNC-CH. Don't know what's out there for kids who go to other system schools.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

some history

I'll throw in some history to stir the pot
1) On April 3, 2003, Senate Bill 866 is filed by Senator Kay Hagan
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2003&BillID=S866
proposing "full four‑year college tuition grants to graduates of the north carolina school of science and mathematics who attend a state university". The bill is referred to committee but not acted on.

2) On April 28, 2003, the same language appeared in the Senate Committeee substitute for
House Bill 397, http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2003/Bills/House/HTML/H397v5.html which was the Senate version of the budget bill.

3) On June 30, 2003, the Governor signed the bill into law,http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2003/Bills/House/HTML/H397v9.html the provison also having appeared in the conference report on the budget

Interestingly, there were a LOT of tuition provision in that budget bill:

TUITION MODIFICATIONS

SECTION 8.16.(a) G.S. 116‑143.3 reads as rewritten:

"§ 116‑143.3. Tuition of active duty personnel in the armed services.

(a) Definitions. – For purposes of this section the The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) The term "armed services" shall mean the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy; the North Carolina National Guard; and any Reserve Component of the foregoing.

(2) The term "abode" shall mean the place where a person actually lives, whether temporarily or permanently; the term "abide" shall mean to live in a given place.

(3) The term "tuition assistance" shall be used as defined in the United States Department of Defense Directive 1322.8, implementing 10 U.S.C. § 2007.

(b) Any active duty member of the armed services qualifying for admission to an institution of higher education a community college under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Community Colleges as defined in G.S. 116‑143.1(a)(3) but not qualifying as a resident for tuition purposes under G.S. 116‑143.1 shall be charged the out‑of‑State tuition rate; provided, that the out‑of‑State tuition shall be forgiven to the extent that the out‑of‑State tuition rate exceeds any amounts payable to the institution or the service member by the service member's employer by reason of enrollment pursuant to such admission while the member is abiding in this State incident to active military duty, plus the amount that represents the percentage of the out‑of‑State tuition rate paid to the institution or the service member by the service member's employer multiplied by the in‑State tuition rate and then subtracted from the in‑State tuition rate.

(b1) Any active duty member of the armed services qualifying for admission to a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina but not qualifying as a resident for tuition purposes under G.S. 116‑143.1 shall be charged the maximum available tuition assistance as the required payment for tuition and mandatory fees not to exceed the established out-of-state tuition and mandatory fee rates. The Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina shall determine which mandatory fees apply to active duty members of the armed services attending The University of North Carolina.

(b2) Any active duty member of the armed services who does not qualify for any payment by the member's employer pursuant to subsections (b) or (b1) of this section shall be eligible to be charged the in‑State tuition rate and shall pay the full amount of the in‑State tuition rate.rate and applicable mandatory fees.

(c) Any dependent relative of a member of the armed services who is abiding in this State incident to active military duty, as defined by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina and by the State Board of Community Colleges while sharing the abode of that member shall be eligible to be charged the in‑State tuition rate, if the dependent relative qualifies for admission to an institution of higher education as defined in G.S. 116‑143.1(a)(3). The dependent relatives shall comply with the requirements of the Selective Service System, if applicable, in order to be accorded this benefit. In the event the member of the armed services removes his abode from North Carolina during an academic year, the dependent relative shall continue to be eligible for the in‑State tuition rate during the remainder of that academic year.

(d) The burden of proving entitlement to the benefit of this section shall lie with the applicant therefor.

(e) A person charged less than the out‑of‑State out-of-state tuition rate solely by reason of this section shall not, during the period of receiving that benefit, qualify for or be the basis of conferring the benefits benefit of G.S. 116‑143.1(g), (h), (i), (j), (k), or (1)."

SECTION 8.16.(b) G.S. 115D‑39 reads as rewritten:

"§ 115D‑39. Student tuition and fees.

(a) The State Board of Community Colleges shall fix and regulate all tuition and fees charged to students for applying to or attending any institution pursuant to this Chapter.

The receipts from all student tuition and fees, other than student activity fees, shall be State funds and shall be deposited as provided by regulations of the State Board of Community Colleges.

The legal resident limitation with respect to tuition, set forth in G.S. 116‑143.1 and G.S. 116‑143.3, shall apply to students attending institutions operating pursuant to this Chapter; provided, however, that when an employer other than the armed services, as that term is defined in G.S. 116‑143.3, pays tuition for an employee to attend an institution operating pursuant to this Chapter and when the employee works at a North Carolina business location, the employer shall be charged the in‑State tuition rate; provided further, however, a community college may charge in‑State tuition to up to one percent (1%) of its out‑of‑state students, rounded up to the next whole number, to accommodate the families transferred by business, the families transferred by industry, or the civilian families transferred by the military, consistent with the provisions of G.S. 116‑143.3, into the State. Notwithstanding these requirements, a refugee who lawfully entered the United States and who is living in this State shall be deemed to qualify as a domiciliary of this State under G.S. 116‑143.1(a)(1) and as a State resident for community college tuition purposes as defined in G.S. 116‑143.1(a)(2). Also, a nonresident of the United States who has resided in North Carolina for a 12‑month qualifying period and has filed an immigrant petition with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service shall be considered a State resident for community college tuition purposes.

(b) In addition, any person lawfully admitted to the United States who satisfied the qualifications for assignment to a public school set out under G.S. 115C-366 and graduated from the public school to which the student was assigned shall also be eligible for the State resident community college tuition rate. This subsection does not make a person a resident of North Carolina for any other purpose."

TUITION MODIFICATIONS/nonprofit sponsorship of community college student

SECTION 8.16A.(a) G.S. 115D‑39 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

"(c) In addition, a person sponsored under this subsection who is lawfully admitted to the United States is eligible for the State resident community college tuition rate. For purposes of this subsection, a North Carolina nonprofit entity is a charitable or religious corporation as defined in G.S. 55A-1-40 that is incorporated in North Carolina and that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a civic league incorporated in North Carolina under Chapter 55A of the General Statutes that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. A nonresident of the United States is sponsored by a North Carolina nonprofit entity if the student resides in North Carolina while attending the community college and the North Carolina nonprofit entity provides a signed affidavit to the community college verifying that the entity accepts financial responsibility for the student's tuition and any other required educational fees. Any North Carolina nonprofit entity that sponsors a nonresident of the United States under this subsection may sponsor no more than five nonresident students annually under this subsection. This subsection does not make a person a resident of North Carolina for any other purpose."

SECTION 8.16A.(b) The State Board of Community Colleges shall report to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations in April of 2004 on the implementation of this section during the 2003‑2004 academic year.

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE MATH/COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS

SECTION 9.4.(a) Article 29 of Chapter 116 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

"§ 116-238.1. Full tuition grant for graduates who attend a State university.

(a) There is granted to each State resident who graduates from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and who enrolls as a full-time student in a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina a sum to be determined by the General Assembly as a tuition grant. The tuition grant shall be for four consecutive academic years and shall cover the tuition cost at the constituent institution in which the student is enrolled. The tuition grant shall be distributed to the student as provided by this section.

(b) The tuition grants provided for in this section shall be administered by the State Education Assistance Authority pursuant to rules adopted by the State Education Assistance Authority not inconsistent with this section. The State Education Assistance Authority shall not approve any grant until it receives proper certification from the appropriate constituent institution that the student applying for the grant is an eligible student. Upon receipt of the certification, the State Education Assistance Authority shall remit at the times it prescribes the grant to the constituent institution on behalf, and to the credit, of the student.

(c) In the event a student on whose behalf a grant has been paid is not enrolled and carrying a minimum academic load as of the tenth classroom day following the beginning of the school term for which the grant was paid, the institution shall refund the full amount of the grant to the State Education Assistance Authority.

(d) In the event there are not sufficient funds to provide each eligible student with a full grant:

(1) The Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, with the approval of the Office of State Budget and Management, may transfer available funds to meet the needs of the programs provided by subsections (a) and (b) of this section; and

(2) Each eligible student shall receive a pro rata share of funds then available for the remainder of the academic year within the fiscal period covered by the current appropriation.

(e) Any remaining funds shall revert to the General Fund."

SECTION 9.4.(b) This section applies to students graduating in the 2003‑2004 academic year and each subsequent academic year.

VETERANS SCHOLARSHIPS PARTIALLY FUNDED FROM ESCHEAT FUND

SECTION 18.5.(a) G.S. 165‑22.1(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b) Funds for the support of this program shall be appropriated to the Department of Administration as a reserve for payment of the allocable costs for room, board, tuition, and other charges, and shall be placed in a separate budget code from which disbursements shall be made. Funds to support the program shall be supported by receipts from the Escheat Fund, as provided by G.S. 116B-7, but those funds may be used only for worthy and needy residents of this State who are enrolled in public institutions of higher education of this State. In the event the said appropriation for any year is insufficient to pay the full amounts allocable under the provisions of this Article, such supplemental sums as may be necessary shall be allocated from the Contingency and Emergency Fund. The method of disbursing and accounting for funds allocated for payments under the provisions of this section shall be in accordance with those standards and procedures prescribed by the Director of the Budget, pursuant to the Executive Budget Act."

SECTION 18.5.(b) G.S. 116B‑7 reads as rewritten:

"§ 116B‑7. Distribution of income of fund.

(a) The income derived from the investment or deposit of the Escheat Fund shall be distributed annually on or before July 15 to the State Education Assistance Authority for grants and loans to aid worthy and needy students who are residents of this State and are enrolled in public institutions of higher education in this State. Such grants and loans shall be made upon terms, consistent with the provisions of this Chapter, pursuant to which the State Education Assistance Authority makes grants and loans to other students under G.S. 116‑201 to 116‑209.23, Article 23 of Chapter 116 of the General Statutes, policies of the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina regarding need‑based grants for students of The University of North Carolina, and policies of the State Board of Community Colleges regarding need‑based grants for students of the community colleges.

(b) An amount specified in the Current Operations Appropriations Act shall be transferred annually from the Escheat Fund to the Department of Administration to partially fund the program of Scholarships for Children of War Veterans established by Article 4 of Chapter 165 of the General Statutes. Those funds may be used only for residents of this State who (i) are worthy and needy as determined by the Department of Administration, and (ii) are enrolled in public institutions of higher education of this State."

SECTION 18.5.(c) In accordance with G.S. 116B‑7(b) as enacted by this act, for the 2003‑2004 and 2004‑2005 fiscal years, there is appropriated from the Escheat Fund to the Department of Administration the amount of three million seven hundred twenty‑eight thousand three hundred twenty‑four dollars ($3,728,324) for each year.

At the risk of being a total and complete fraking bore ....

not to mention tendentious ;), quoted are some points of fact from the President of NCSSM to the NC General Assembly. hmm.

The Tuition Grant is helping keep our brightest students in North Carolina.

Numerous studies demonstrate that citizens are more likely to remain in the state in which they attend college. The Tuition Grant has increased the likelihood of NCSSM graduates becoming economically contributing adults to North Carolina’s economy by increasing the number of those attending UNC system schools.

· Since 2004, an average of 82 percent of NCSSM graduates have attended UNC system schools, up from an average of 55 percent prior to 2004.

· NCSSM currently has alumni at 15 of the 16 University of North Carolina constituent institutions.

· All but six members of NCSSM’s Class of 2007 applied to a UNC system school.

· Nearly 75 percent of NCSSM Alumni pay North Carolina taxes.

· The idea behind the grant is similar to that behind the N.C. Legislative Tuition Grant which provides North Carolina residents $2,000 if they are attending a private school in the state.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

that second to last

one is the key point.

Not only are they staying in state for school, but they are staying here, getting good jobs, and growing our economy.

Seems like a great investement to me.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Unless they would have stayed anyway

Which is why this program (which seems like a good one to me, too) should be the subject of a study to determine what kind of difference it is making.

true

i would try to argue against people actually using facts to determine whether to keep a program or not.

if only we could use your logic on the lottery...

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Conflict of interest?

Who is this a conflict of interest for? How is this unethical? Have certain powerful legislators had their kids benefit from this? This is truly making a mountain out of a molehill.

I see nothing wrong with giving NCSSM students a tuition break if it keeps more of them at home in NC. Would it be ideal to make more exceptional high school students eligible? Sure it would. But let's not throw out the baby with the bath water here.

In comparison, UNC spends more than $30 million a year on athletic scholarships, coaches salaries, and operation of the Athletic Depeartment for the benefit of a few and the entertainment of many. NC State spends a similar amount. Each of the other UNC system schools also spend much more than $1.9 million. And then there is the amount of capital $$ spent on stadiums, basketball arenas, soccer fields, swimming pools, etc.

I did not attend NCSSM. I did attend UNC. I paid my way - with just a little help. I would need a lot more help at today's tuiition rate. Lowering tuition would help all students. But killing the NCSSM break would not help anybody.

Very well said, Todd

.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Art Pope He Don't Like It

Or at least libertarian minion George Leef doesn't. But he and Shannon Blosser make a fairly listless stab at getting rid of the scholarship. The whole PDF is full of shoddy logic and short on actual data (and what data is provided, about SAT scores and "grade inflation" is sort of assumed to support the authors' point). Take a look at a fairly typical paragraph:

The waiver produces no economic benefit for the state. The contention that the tuition waiver will have a strong, beneficial impact on the economy of the state is unsupportable. Those who advance this contention are viewing North Carolina as if it were an autarchic political entity that must attempt to keep "its" people from leaving, much as 18th century mercantilists favored the hoarding of national wealth. North Carolina, however, is just a political subdivision of the United States, which is a great free-trade zone, and part of an increasingly global economy where political boundaries are increasingly irrelevant. For that reason, the tuition waiver policy cannot affect the economy of the state.

The first rule of debate club is you do not talk about debate club! The only way that this argument hangs together is by assuming that if North Carolina is part of a free trade zone then the North Carolina economy has no distinct characteristics. Does anybody involved in North Carolina politics really think that? Does the John Locke foundation even believe that? (They don't.)

So the study I was talking about above? This ain't it. But if you're looking for bush league hackery (I can only assume that Leef and Blosser were in a hurry to leave for lunch or something when they wrote this), then this is your PDF.

I still want to know

What will happen to the money if the law is repealed. Will it become available for scholarships awarded in some other manner? Or will it go back into the general fund to "balance the budget" or support tax cuts or whatever? What's the motivation of the opposition to the program?

I'm sure every student at NCSSM deserves a full scholarship, and I would not want to see any of them lose the opportunity to attend the school of their choice. I think there are other students, as well, who deserve help with tuition and who may not be getting that help. Perhaps what we should be talking about is expanding or supplementing the program to help more of our deserving students.

I agree with A.

This is one of the best threads we've had at bluenc in awhile.,


One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Anybody's ears burning?

;) Ed Cone links us. We're tendentious. We discuss and reassess. That's one a helluva compliment. I like it. :)

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Tendentious

I saw that but was too lazy to look it up at the time. But your comment has nudged me:

Marked by a strong tendency in favor of a particular point of view.

Not sure that's true, but it's a cool word anyway.

umm, heh ...

that shoe is fitting my feet pretty snug, A. But you're right, it doesn't fit everybody who's commented.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

If you want to talk unfair favoritism

Why don't we get rid of the preferential treatment for legacies? You can make a case for preferential treatment for NCSSM students (keeping a nice clutch of the best and brightest in our state), students who will add diversity to the university cultural experience (one of the main things that keeps schools from becoming diploma factories), NC residents (we do, after all pay for the damn thing), and even student-athletes (more diversity and bringing in millions of dollars for academic use)---but can anybody make a case as to why someone should gain entrance to UNC, State or anywhere else because of shared DNA?

My nephew was recently denied admission to UNC---thank God for State and its honors program, too, for rescuing the crestfallen lad. When I thought about why he didn't gain admission, I didn't think of "lesser-qualified minorities" or athletes---I thought of all the little nobheads who scored substantially lower on the SAT and took less rigorous high school curricula, but always KNEW they'd get in because their folks shared their first kiss under the tree at UNC.

It's ok to run your fraternity or even a private school this way, but can anyone tell me why we give preferential treatment to underachieving middle-to-upper class white kids (I know I'm painting with a broad brush, but you know I'm not too far off on this)?

THAT's something to be troubled about. Not this, in my opinion. But, boy, did it sure make a nice debate. Thanks for the post.

War is over if you want it.

Answer

$

I dont know about UNC, but I know that at private schools lower achieving upper-middle class kids get an easier fight with admissions because their parents will pay full price.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

You're right

But private schools can do anything they want. Duke, in particular, is known for selling admission to rich folks around the country when their prep school kids fail to get into Harvard, Stanford, etc. And who really cares if they do, since they are private and they have to deal like a business with whatever damages its image as an elite school.
What we're talking about here is fairness in public policy with public schools, and the fact is that they do give preference to UNC alumni at UNC, State at State, etc.

War is over if you want it.

Don't forget snoodiness.

I know of one high-school graduate done good (multi-multi-millionaire) who couldn't buy his son into Duke, even though he was a good/great student from a HUGE school district in a college town in Pennsylvania (usually means highly educated population). I guess he wasn't snoody enough.
One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

New Leader Initiation

In 2003, Senator Hagan was relatively new, and did not have the power that she has now.

It is my gut feeling that tells me a few leaders were for this budget addition back then, but she was the only one who signed onto it.