Tags: North Carolina | Lawmaker | Tuition Cut | Bill | Racist

Hispanic NC Lawmaker Scales Back Tuition Bill After Being Branded 'Racist'

Image: Hispanic NC Lawmaker Scales Back Tuition Bill After Being Branded 'Racist'
Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca. (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Jun 2016 03:02 PM

One North Carolina lawmaker's attempt to make college more affordable turned into a tidal wave of backlash that included him being called a "racist" and "bigot," The Associated Press reported.

Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hispanic, proposed slashing tuition to $500 per semester at five North Carolina public universities that serve mostly black, Native American and poor students, AP reported.

Apodaca's stated goal: Make college more affordable for those students and boost enrollment.

The reaction: Apodaca's intent is to force the historically black schools into bankruptcy, despite assurances from the state legislature to cover the reported $70 million in lost revenue, AP reported.

"I've also been disappointed in being called a racist and bigot," Apodaca told the AP.

As a result of the backlash, Apodaca has amended his proposal by removing Winston-Salem State, Elizabeth City State, and Fayetteville State. The new proposal would only target the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a historically Native American school, and Western Carolina University, which serves the poverty-stricken Appalachian region and Apodaca's alma mater, according to the AP.

Under Apodaca's plan, the lower in-state tuition to $500 would have kicked in beginning in fall of 2018. Tuition at the five schools currently ranges from $1,400 to $1,900 per semester for in-state students.

"It hadn't been pleasant, and for the life of me I can't understand it," Apodaca told the AP. "I would do nothing to cheapen the degree. And we're just trying to lower tuition costs and help some institutions."

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One North Carolina lawmaker's attempt to make college more affordable turned into a tidal wave of backlash that included him being called a "racist" and "bigot," The Associated Press reported.
North Carolina, Lawmaker, Tuition Cut, Bill, Racist
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2016-02-02
Thursday, 02 Jun 2016 03:02 PM
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