School Choice Continues to See Strong Support in NC

Opportunity Scholarships Increase to More Than 12,000 Recipients

Raleigh, N.C. — As the nation comes together to celebrate National School Choice Week, North Carolina has seen support for school choice stay strong and now more than 12,000 students received the Opportunity Scholarship for the 2019–20 school year.

A new poll from the Civitas Institute found strong support for Opportunity Scholarships and school choice. The poll found 81% believe parents should have the ability to choose where their child attends school. There is even stronger support in minority communities for school choice, with 84% supporting parents choosing what school their child attends. The poll shows strong support for the Opportunity Scholarship, with 67% of voters saying they’re in favor of the program.

According to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, a total of 12,183 students received an Opportunity Scholarship, including 4,560 new students. During the 2018–19 school year 9,651 students received an Opportunity Scholarship.

Opportunity scholarships remain one of the best tools to help parents have the freedom to choose the education that fits their child’s needs. The income-based scholarship provides up to $4,200 per school year for a student to attend a non-public school. The scholarship has helped thousands of low-income or working-class families provide a better future for their children.

North Carolina’s public charter schools have seen increased enrollment as the school choice movement has picked up steam. Enrollment in charter schools has increased by nearly 50,000 students in the last five years. In the 2018–19 school, 109,492 students enrolled in the public charter schools. Enrollment at private schools during that same time was 102,400, and 142,037 students were home-schooled.

According to the Civitas poll released today, 69% of those polled favored legislative proposals that provide greater flexibility in allocating how their tax dollars are spent for their child’s education.

Senator Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said, “Families across the state deserve the freedom to choose the best education for their children. Empowering parents to make the best decision for their children should be celebrated, instead of stymied.

“Governor Roy Cooper and legislative Democrats have said they would defund the Opportunity Scholarship program and put a moratorium on new charter schools. It’s clear these programs make a difference in the lives of North Carolinians. Education is the great equalizer, and programs like the Opportunity Scholarship provide low-income and working-class families with the resources to choose the school that is best for their children.”

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