By Lisa Baldwin – President Trump supports school choice just like our North Carolina Republican-majority legislature. It’s very simple. Competition makes public schools perform better in order to keep students and stay “in business”. Because North Carolina spends an average of nearly $8,800 per student, the $4,200 “vouchers” for private schools save the state and its taxpayers money and put the responsibility for ensuring academic rigor under parental control.
North Carolina parents of kindergarten through 12th graders have until March 1st to apply for North Carolina Opportunity Scholarships.
The State-sponsored private school scholarships are open to low to middle income families in greater numbers than ever before, reports Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.
An unprecedented 8,222 scholarships are estimated to become available to families submitting 2017-18 school year applications. Funding is expected to reach nearly $35 million in 2017-18, a $10 million increase over 2016-17. The Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides eligible low – middle income families with state-funded scholarships to send their children to private school, currently serves nearly 5,800 students.
“The Opportunity Scholarship Program is an educational lifeline for thousands of families in our state,” said Darrell Allison, President of Parents For Educational Freedom in NC. “But our research shows us that thousands more are not even aware of the program’s existence. Expansion of this Program provides these parents with great opportunity but also confers on us great responsibility, as we must work to ensure all of our state’s families know about their K-12 options and are educated about these options.
Passed in 2013, the Opportunity Scholarship Program provides private school scholarships of up to $4,200 to low-income, middle income and working-class families in North Carolina. In order for a family to be eligible for a scholarship for the 2017-18 school year, household income must not exceed 133% of the amount to qualify for free and reduced price lunch (about $60,000 for a family of four). Families interested in learning more can check their eligibility for the Program by visiting www.schoolchoicenorthcarolina.com. All families must submit an official Opportunity Scholarship application through the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) or www.ncseaa.edu/.
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