The American Federation for Children (AFC), the nation’s voice for educational choice, today applauded the North Carolina Legislature for creating the nation’s newest statewide voucher program, the third created this year. AFC encouraged legislators to remain committed to expanding the program, to ensure thousands of children from low-income families will have access to quality educational options. North Carolina’s new Opportunity Scholarship Act received bipartisan support and was included as part of the budget bill which cleared conference committee and is expected to pass both chambers before being presented to the governor. The program is tailored to children who participate in the federal free or reduced lunch program.
“North Carolina took a historic and positive step forward by creating this initial educational choice program and we remain committed to ensuring the program expands in order to provide greater access for children from low-income families who are in need of quality educational options,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “The bipartisan support for educational choice demonstrates the importance of this common sense education reform that empowers parents and puts kids first.”
Low-income families who qualify will be able to use a $4,200 voucher to send their child to the school of their choice. The program also includes strong testing and accountability measures.
In addition, the North Carolina Senate last week passed House Bill 269, known as the “Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grant,” which provides up to $6,000 to children with disabilities to pay for private school tuition or related special educational services.
These important education reforms were aided by the strong local support and leadership of Darrell Allison and his team at Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC).
“Parents and children across North Carolina and school choice advocates nationwide are grateful for the efforts of PEFNC and the bipartisan members of the legislature who fought to pass educational choice in North Carolina," said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel for AFC. "We are certain that the program will be substantially oversubscribed by parents anxious to obtain better educational options for their children and we urge the legislature and Governor McCrory to continue their efforts to expand parental choice and help more disadvantaged children across the state."
The American Federation for Children is the nation's leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.