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RALEIGH, NC – Closing out our education series today, we’re highlighting yet another way Senator Tillis is playing hooky on North Carolina students — higher education. Senator Thom Tillis has caved to corporate special interests instead of standing up for North Carolina students, and our colleges and universities.
As Speaker of North Carolina House, Tillis slashed funding for North Carolina community colleges, raised taxes on student meal plans, and even eliminated a tax break for families saving for college, all while helping the wealthiest and corporations by handing them massive new tax cuts.
And as U.S. Senator, his vote to confirm Betsy DeVos led to the weakening of rules meant to protect students, including veterans, from for-profit colleges. That’s not surprising given Tillis himself is in the pocket of these for-profit colleges, having accepted thousands from their corporate PACs, including one that preyed on North Carolina servicemembers, and even backed a bill to deregulate the industry.
In the State Senate, Cal Cunningham expanded financial aid for community colleges and fought to expand need-based scholarships and aid. In Washington, he’ll lead the fight to lower the cost of college, expand access to community college and technical training, and reduce the burden of student loan debt by expanding Pell Grants, fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and giving students the ability to refinance their loans at a lower rate. Cal also believes we should expand and support the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and work to remove cost as a barrier to community college and technical training.
Finally, Cal will work with his North Carolina colleagues in Washington to strengthen one of the state’s greatest points of pride, it’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He will ensure they are funded at the level they deserve and work to expand the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program to HBCUs.
“Time after time, Senator Tillis has put his donors’ interests before the interests of North Carolina students and educators — from gutting public education funding to failing to make college more affordable for those looking to attend one of our universities or community colleges. North Carolina deserves a Senator like Cal who values the opportunity that public education provides and will invest in its future,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign.