A scholarship program meant to attract North Carolina's brightest high school students into teaching has fallen victim to state budget cuts.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Sunday that legislators voted to phase out the $13.5 million annual funding for the Teaching Fellows program as they closed a $2.5 billion budget shortfall. The 25-year-old program provided a free college education in exchange for teaching at least four years in a public school in North Carolina.
About 500 scholarships were awarded annually. This year's entering college freshman class will be the last to receive the scholarships.
However, two Republican lawmakers say funding could be restored in future sessions. Legislators say they had to decide whether to make direct cuts to the classroom or to other education programs.