North Carolina’s big school voucher problem

By Lauryn Higgins

In July of 2013, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed a state budget that included school choice vouchers for students and implemented a new program called the Opportunity Scholarship Program. At the time, North Carolina was the tenth state to implement a program that has now grown to 13 states and the District of Columbia.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program allows students in underserved public schools the chance to attend a private institution and receive an education with a grant of up to $4,200 a year, which is funded through tax-payer dollars. Kindergarten through twelfth grade students who come from a low-income, military or foster home family qualify for the scholarship.

At its conception, the program was well received. Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, said that “Thousands of our neediest students will have access to additional schools that could potentially best meet their needs. This was accomplished, in large part, due to the determination of legislators on both sides of the aisle and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and find a way to get it done. For that, we thank them.

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