School Choice Expands in North Carolina

Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed a budget plan that will expand the state’s three primary school choice programs in North Carolina.Statement from Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children:“We are elated and grateful that lawmakers in North Carolina have worked to ensure that every child has the best education possible. This is a huge win for parents and families. The expansion of already successful programs means fewer children will be left behind every year, trapped in schools that do not meet their needs.” Details

  • The 2021-22 budget expands eligibility of the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) and raises the income threshold to qualify for the program from 150 percent to 175 percent of the income to qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program
  • The budget increases the OSP scholarship amount to 90 percent of the state per pupil expenditure for traditional public schools – estimated to be $5,850 per year
  • Increases the state’s year appropriation from $10 million to $15 million per year through the 2031-32 school year
  • Combines the Children with Disabilities Grant and Education Savings Account program into one program: the North Carolina Personal Education Students Accounts for Children with Disabilities Program, effective for the 2022 – 23 school year
  • Students with especially severe disabilities can qualify for aid up to $17,000 per student