Last week, North Carolina became the latest state to implement a statewide education scholarship program with the potential to improve the lives of thousands of students. School choice advocates nationwide praised the passage of the Opportunity Scholarship Act:
“North Carolina took a historic and positive step forward by creating this initial educational choice program and we remain committed to ensuring the program expands in order to provide greater access for children from low-income families who are in need of quality educational options,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “The bipartisan support for educational choice demonstrates the importance of this common sense education reform that empowers parents and puts kids first.”
The new program will give qualifying low income families in North Carolina an opportunity to receive a scholarship of $4,200 to attend a private school of their choosing.
The positive reforms don’t stop there. Additionally, North Carolina passed the Children with Disabilities Scholarship Act, which grants families of children with special needs the right to a scholarship worth $6,000 toward private school tuition or other education services. With these reforms, North Carolina has placed itself at the forefront of the education choice movement.
One thing Texas lawmakers should consider in coming years when considering similar legislation for our state- the North Carolina laws, especially the special needs scholarship program, was passed with bipartisan support. School choice should not be a Democrat/Republican issue. It should always be about doing what is best for students. North Carolina recognizes as much. How long until Texas manages to do the same?