The bills are flying fast and furious at the General Assembly. One filed Wednesday by Rep. George Cleveland and Rep. Pricey Harrison would repeal the law passed a few years ago that allows out-of-state athletes at UNC to qualify for in-state tuition, which results in a windfall for the athletic booster clubs at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State.
The legislation was slipped into the budget in 2005 and debated only after the fact. It's defenders, including Senator Tony Rand, say it also increases the number of students who can receive academic scholarships like the Morehead at UNC-CH and that's technically true, but the vast majority of the money goes back to the booster clubs. When it is fully implemented, the tuition break for the boosters will cost taxpayers $32 million.
This at a time when North Carolina students face year after year of tuition increases. Good for Cleveland and Harrison and let's hope this bill gets a full hearing. Cleveland introduced it last year and it was brought up in a committee but quickly buried in a subcommittee where it died, thanks to the efforts of the well-heeled UNC PAC, Citizens for Higher Education.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.