MEDIA RELEASE: Justice Center applauds Gov. Perdue's veto of anti-community college bill

Justice Center applauds Gov. Perdue's veto of anti-community college bill
Legislation would have limited access to badly-needed federal loans for North Carolina's students and workers in need of retraining

RALEIGH (April 13) -- In a move experts called necessary for students and workers, Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed House Bill 7. The bill would have limited students' options in attending community college by eliminating a requirement for schools to make federal loans available to their students.

Observers hailed Gov. Perdue's veto as necessary to protect workers, students, and North Carolina's economic future.

"North Carolina’s community college system prepares students young and old to contribute to the state’s economy," said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center. "Access to the federal loan program is a critical tool that makes a community college education affordable."

Community colleges have played a particularly important role as North Carolina’s economy has transformed, Sirota said. As demand for more skills and education are required for living wage jobs, access to an affordable education at community colleges will be increasingly important. Tuition has increased more than 17 percent since 2005 at North Carolina's community colleges.

"Unfortunately, North Carolina’s community colleges have become more expensive just as workers need them most," Sirota said. "Federal loans are a crucial support for students, and Gov. Perdue's decision will help those students improve North Carolina's future."

For more information, contact: Alexandra Forter Sirota, alexandra@ncjustice.org, (919) 861-1468; or (919) 801-0465; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, jeff@ncjustice.org(919) 863-2402 (office) (503) 551.3615 (mobile).