‘This budget is a mixed bag:' Breaking down what’s in the House budget for education

By Liz Schlemmer

March 30, 2023

Republican House leaders have released their initial budget proposal. Senate leadership is expected to release its budget proposal in May, and the budget process will likely continue through the summer before North Carolinians see a final state budget.

But for now, the House proposal serves as a window into Republicans’ education priorities, both in terms of state funding as well as policy measures that may get wrapped into the final budget bill.


School choice advocacy group Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina is praising the House budget for offering private school vouchers to students who qualify by income standards, but are ineligible because they already attend a private school.

“We've seen some good things in the house budget that will expand that,” said PEFNC vice president Brian Jodice.

The private school vouchers known as Opportunity Scholarships are currently available to students who either previously attended a public school, or private school students who apply for the first time in kindergarten through 2nd grade.

The House proposal would expand eligibility to all elementary and middle school students who meet income eligibility requirements, even if they have already been attending a private school without state assistance. The House budget would also increase funding for Opportunity Scholarships by about $56 million to $262 million in 2025 in order to pay for the expanded eligibility.


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