American Federation for Children Responds to Court Injunction Suspending North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 21, 2014) – Today the American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, expressed disappointment with a North Carolina court injunction that has suspended the enactment of the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program has already demonstrated very strong popularity among parents, resulting in more than 4,500 student applications in less than two months.
“The N.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program empowers low-income parents to choose the best school for their child and no judge or union boss should deny that child their right to attend the best school possible,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel for the American Federation for Children. “North Carolina’s educational choice program received bipartisan support and has already garnered support from thousands of low-income parents eager to give their children access to a quality school. The injunction is disappointing, but this fight has just begun and we are committed to ensuring the families of North Carolina will be able to access this vital choice.”
Passed in 2013, the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program created scholarships up to $4,200 for children from low-income families to attend a private school of their parent’s choice. Over 4,500 students have already applied for the program for the 2014-2015 school year.
Darrell Allison, president of the Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) also issued a statement, saying “While we respect the court’s decision, we are deeply disappointed on behalf of the thousands of working-class families who desired this educational option…Rest assured we will not rest, we will not yield until every parent and child from a poor or working-class background has the same educational opportunities that many of their wealthier peers have.”
An appeal of the injunction is expected.
“As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Justice too long delayed is justice denied’ and in this case, the longer this injunction stands, the longer North Carolina children are having their civil rights denied,” added Chavous.
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.
Kevin P. Chavous is a noted attorney, author, and national school reform leader. A former member of the Council of the District of Columbia and a former chairman of D.C.’s Education Committee, Chavous was responsible for enacting numerous education reforms in D.C. Chavous also presides as board chair for Democrats for Education Reform and is a former chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options.