North Carolina has the (sad) distinction of having one of the worst-funded public education systems in the nation, and the NC General Assembly appears committed to keep it that way. Legislative leaders are not only extending the education budget cuts, they also want to divert taxpayer dollars from public to private schools.
An analysis by NC Policy Watch sheds light on a major force fueling this anti-public education push in Raleigh. More than $90,000 in political contributions made their way into the campaigns of many of the legislators who are proposing bills to punch holes in our public education system. The money comes from a handful of so-called “school choice” groups and individuals in favor of using taxpayer money to subsidize parents who send their kids to private institutions.
But what kind of “choice” do these proposals really offer? The vouchers and grants offered by the main bills won’t even cover the full tuition at most good private schools. They will work fine as incentives for higher-income families but they’ll lure low-income families into searching for cheap (often lower quality) private schools. That’s really no choice at all; instead, these schemes will reinforce the economic divide and undercut community support for a healthy public school system. Learn more about some of the bills here.