House lawmakers Monday voted to override Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The General Assembly has completed its override of Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto of a bill that gives all North Carolina community colleges the ability to refuse to participate in a low-interest federal student loan program.
The Senate voted 31-16 Monday evening to cancel Perdue's veto of the measure, which changes a previous law requiring all 58 campuses to participate in the Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The margin is above the three-fifths majority necessary for an override. The House voted to override late last week. The bill now becomes law.
Community college presidents have sought the chance to opt out of the program for fear high default rates could jeopardize access to all federal financial aid. Bill opponents say students need the loans to find new careers.
Also Monday, the House has changed the Senate's public school overhaul bill to offer tax breaks to businesses that give money to nonprofits, which in turn dole out scholarships to North Carolina children to attend private schools.
The House Education Committee debated but didn't vote Monday on a Senate measure promoted by Republican Senate leader Phil Berger. The Senate version focuses largely on beefing up reading programs in early grades, ending job-protecting tenure for veteran teachers and requiring local districts to create merit pay plans.
The House plan replaces the merit pay with bonuses for teachers that help students perform well on Advanced Placement tests. It also adds the tax credits for scholarships.
It's unclear when the committee will consider the bill next.
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