Clouds over Teaching Fellows program

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2011

As some local high school seniors hope to secure a $26,000 Teaching Fellows scholarship to help pay for their education and better prepare them for their chosen profession, the future of the program is as uncertain as it has ever been.
School systems across North Carolina are bracing for state cuts of up 10 percent, a figure at which the N.C. Department of Public Instruction estimates more than 5,000 teaching positions could be slashed.
That’s forcing teaching fellows to adjust their expectations. Some, like 2005 South Rowan High School graduate Katie King, are teaching at grade levels they intended. Others are taking on more academic work to make themselves more marketable.
Meanwhile, state public education officials say that while the Teaching Fellows program is not currently on the chopping block, everything must be considered with North Carolina facing a $3.5 billion budget shortfall.
Even if the program survives, State Superintendent June Atkinson says, its requirements might need to be changed based on the fact that fewer than 60 percent of Teaching Fellows graduates are still in the classroom.
Get a copy of today’s Salisbury Post to read Sarah Campbell’s look at the Teaching Fellows program.