North Carolina Vouchers Challenge to Reach State Supreme Court

Published February 1, 2015

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionally of North Carolina’s school voucher program will reach the state supreme court this year. Low-income students in the state will still be able to enroll in the program through the 2015-16 school year while the court hears challenges from education establishment organizations such as the North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina School Boards Association.

Voucher opponents’ main argument is the scholarships are taking funds away from public schools, which is not accurate, says Darrell Allison, president of Parents/Partners for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.

“The Opportunity Scholarships are paid for with funds from the state’s General Fund, not from money allocated for public education,” he said. “Money is not being taken away from public schools.”

Doran Moreland, state programs and government relations director at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, says families wanting to apply for the program should follow the case closely. 

“There’s no question that the opportunity scholarships are extremely popular,” said Moreland. “About 30 percent of North Carolina families qualify.

“If [the court rules] it is constitutional, families will have to get their kids enrolled as soon as possible. Other states are also watching to see what the courts will do,” Moreland added. 

Chris Neal ([email protected]) writes from New York, New York.

Image by bloomsberries.