President Barack Obama arrives at UNC-Chapel Hill on Tuesday with a message that may resonate with young voters worried about their economic future. In North Carolina, the higher interest rate would affect 160,000 students, adding $980 over the life of the average student loan, according to the White House.
At the same time, state financial aid dollars have declined; the UNC system suffered a 15.6 percent cut in state funding last year. A state need-based grant program was reduced by $35 million last year. On Monday, Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, said she would restore that $35 million for financial aid in her budget. Read more here.
Other political headlines:
--It did not take long for the John Edwards trial to get tawdry, and for once it was not the former presidential candidate at the center of the salacious allegations. It was Andrew Young, the former aide who is expected to be a key witness for the prosecution. Get more details from the Greensboro federal courtroom and see a photo gallery.
--Teachers would no longer receive tenure, the school year would be five days longer and third graders who don’t read well would go to a special summer literacy camp. Those are some of the sweeping changes included in legislation proposed by Senate leader Phil Berger on Monday. The proposed law would make major changes to teacher employment rules, teacher training and student academic requirements.
--Some legislators say they welcome a second chance to decide how riders should pay their share of state ferry operating costs, after a House-Senate oversight committee voted Monday to repeal new ferry tolls worth several million dollars
--In the 9th Congressional District race, Republican Robert Pittenger, who has attacked rival Jim Pendergraph for taking a “taxpayer-funded government pension,” gets one himself. Pittenger, who served five years in the state Senate, gets a monthly pension of $321.46, according to the state treasurer’s office. He says he gives the money to charity.