RALEIGH, NC (August 31, 2023) – Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly are seeking to expand and increase funding for one of the state’s private school voucher programs, the Opportunity Scholarships Program. In its current or expanded form the Opportunity Scholarships Program represents significant investment of taxpayer dollars to support private and parochial schools. In response to this, The Public School Forum of North Carolina has published a policy brief focusing on accountability and transparency for private school vouchers.
Unlike our traditional public schools and public charter schools, private schools that receive public dollars are not held accountable to the taxpayers who fund them.To date, Opportunity Scholarships have only been available to students whose families fall below a certain income threshold. While we have not yet have a new state budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2023, companion bills SB 406 and HB 823 would eliminate income requirements to receive vouchers, making all students eligible to receive public funds to subsidize tuition at private schools, regardless of their family’s income or whether they have ever attended a public school.
“The Forum has long advocated for increased accountability and transparency requirements for private schools receiving public funds in the form of school vouchers,” said Dr. Lauren Fox, senior director of policy and research at the Public School Forum. “With the proposed expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, it is even more important that lawmakers include common-sense measures that will ensure parents have accurate and reliable information when making school decisions and state leaders have the data needed to effectively evaluate the performance of schools receiving voucher funds.”
To view the Public School Forum’s full list of recommendations and find more resources on school on school vouchers in North Carolina, please visit ncforum.org/vouchers.
About the Public School Forum of North Carolina
Since our founding in 1985 as a nonpartisan “think and do tank,” the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been a champion of better schools and one of the most trusted sources in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. In order to provide meaningful action on our state’s most important public education issues, we bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do this through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on social media at @theNCForum and visit our website at http://www.ncforum.org/