The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first public university in the United States and started the UNC System in 1789. North Carolina has a long history with the advancement of education for all people; and a culture orientated around the pursuit of knowledge. The North Carolina Forward Party will continue to advance that tradition.
We believe an educated populace is the key to maintaining a healthy civic and voting life. Education at its very core is about workforce development and preparing all students for competency in life skills and self-reliance. Our members will typically support positions like enabling local communities to make the best decisions for the children, providing sufficient resources for K-12 education, working to control costs at the post-secondary level, and providing accessible career entry level positions to get young people started working with minimal debt.
We value trades and liberal arts alike and believe that teachers should be paid enough so that they need not require second jobs to keep their financial freedoms and that they should not be asked or encouraged to fund classroom expenses from their own pocket.
Student Loan Support
The North Carolina Forward Party wants to give Americans in general, but North Carolinians in particular, relief from student debt. We understand student debt is an issue that matters to our young people. Moreover, we understand the cost of tuition has become an extraordinary burden, whereby the cost of education no longer seems to match the benefit. While we work to understand the mechanics of tuition lending practices, we have student loan support initiatives that we can put in place to help with financial hardships. Our members will embrace a range of positions on the matter from advocating to to zero or near-zero rates on loans to loan forgiveness in specific cases.
For instance, the North Carolina Forward Party will advocate for deferring loan payments for three years after graduation. This initiative will allow individuals to pay down the loan principal, which will lower the interest payments on the loan at the end of deferment and give individuals additional time to grow their disposable income. We will also work to have this deferral period count towards public service employees’ ten-year forgiveness program so that it will only be seven years of required compliance for which loan payments need to be made–this will include advocacy for reducing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program requirement for on-time student loan payments from 120 to 84. Additionally, we will also advocate for changes to mortgage loan requirements, whereby current student debt no longer factors into your debt-to-income ratio for when you apply for a loan.