N.C. judge lets lawsuit challenging vouchers proceed

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Wake County Superior Court judge Monday refused to dismiss legal challenges to the state’s Opportunity Scholarships, aka vouchers, meaning that the lawsuit is likely to go to trial. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood issued Monday’s ruling after allowing the Institute for Justice, an Arlington, Va.-based libertarian legal defense organization, to intervene on behalf of two North Carolina parents hoping to use the Opportunity Scholarships to send their children to private schools.

The scholarships were established by the General Assembly in 2013 to provide financial assistance to low-income parents who want to remove their children from public schools and send them to private schools. The amount of the scholarships can reach as high as $4,200 per student, and the General Assembly set aside $10 million in the General Fund budget in the 2014-15 school year for the scholarships.

Separate lawsuits were filed by the N.C. School Boards Association and the N.C. Association of Educators, seeking to strike down the scholarships. In the courtroom, attorneys spent more than two hours arguing motions, including one to dismiss the lawsuits.

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