2020 applications set to open for North Carolina’s trio of school choice programs

Raleigh (January 27, 2020) – Applications for North Carolina’s trio of school-choice scholarship programs—the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), Children with Disabilities Grant (CWD), and Education Savings Account (ESA)—are set to open this week (applications are officially open on January 31st), reports Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), the state’s leading voice for school choice.

“North Carolina’s three school choice programs are expanding educational access for children and families in our state—plain and simple,” said PEFNC president Mike Long. “As the application period is about to open, North Carolina families will once again flood the application inbox showing how much they want and need the educational options made possible through these scholarships.”

For OSP, the new student application opens January 31, 2020. The priority window closes March 1, 2020. The application will remain open until August 31, 2020 for students to be considered for the full 2020-21 school year, as funds remain available. For CWD and ESA, the new student application period runs January 31 to March 15.

During the previous school year, a record 12,553 new applications were submitted for Opportunity Scholarships and to date 12,183 scholarships were awarded; 2,441 new applications were submitted for CWD and 1,754 were awarded; and 1,918 new applications were submitted for ESAs and 282 were awarded. Since OSP’s launch, the program has received 58,693 applications.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program provides up to $4,200 a year in scholarship grants for eligible students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The program is designed to help low-income, working-class families provide an education for their children that best meets each student’s unique needs and abilities. The Special-Needs ESA program provides up to $9,000 a year for families to pay for educational needs, including private-school tuition, tutoring and teaching, educational therapies, educational technology, and other expenses. The Children with Disabilities Grant is worth up to $8,000 to pay for non-public school tuition or for homeschooling.

Opportunity Scholarships continue to benefit families like Betty Duren’s. Her son, Tyson, was floundering in school when Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer. Due to an Opportunity Scholarship, Tyson is now thriving at the private school of their choice. “I am still fighting stage-4 breast cancer that has metastasized into my brain and lungs, and it’s necessary that I’m able to contact his teachers from wherever I’m at,” Betty said. “The Opportunity Scholarship Program gave Tyson the opportunity to excel in school.”

Other parents continue to voice their support for the value of these scholarships as well:

"The Opportunity Scholarship Program has given my kids a choice and opportunity to thrive. We could not do this without the scholarship. It's a blessing." — Abril, Leicester NC

"The Opportunity Scholarship Program offers underprivileged children a good quality education." — Kimberly, Fayetteville NC

"My son was in a public school that tore him down mentally. Now, thanks to the Opportunity Scholarship Program, he is thriving, happy, and excited to go to school." — Maggie, Fayetteville NC

“Without the Opportunity Scholarship Program, my special-needs son would be back in public school with no friends, no social interactions, in the back of the class, and picked on. He finally has friends now." — Mary, Greensboro NC

"The Opportunity Scholarship Program has changed my child's life and made him thrive in his education." — Megan, Mocksville NC

"The Opportunity Scholarship Program changes lives, provides hope, and opens up opportunities for a secure future." — Michelle, Charlotte NC