North Carolina legislature creates budget with strong support for school choice programs
The American Federation for Children celebrates the North Carolina General Assembly for its proposed budget that strongly supports school choice and K-12 education in the state. Up to 6,000 students can take advantage of nearly $25 million in scholarship funds through the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program in 2016.
“After this summer’s victory in the state supreme court where the Opportunity Scholarship program was upheld, we are thrilled to see such support throughout North Carolina and especially in the legislature,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel of the American Federation for Children. “Every child deserves access to a quality education and every parent should be empowered to make education decisions on behalf of their children. North Carolina is one more state that has embraced that idea and has worked to provide children with choice and opportunity.”
“As I have said, and will continue to state, programs like these will serve as small, but ever so vital, pieces of our comprehensive K-12 education puzzle today and into the future,” said Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, one of AFC’s ally organizations. “For the last few years, legislative leadership has worked to improve public education in meaningful ways and I’m happy to see budgets like these, which are complementary educational packages intended to rightly serve every child in North Carolina regardless of their geographic location, income status or the school they ultimately choose.”
North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program served over 1,100 students during its first year and demand has remained very strong with over 12,000 applications submitted over the course of the past 2 years. With this budget allocation, 6,000 students will be able to participate in the program during the 2016-17 school year.
The budget will be approved by the legislature and then move on to Gov. Pat McCrory for his final signature.
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 executive counsel and a founding board member for the American Federation for Children, an affiliate of the American Federation for Children Growth Fund 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 is chair emeritus of the Democrats for Education Reform and a former chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options