Cooper Guts Future Funding for the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program

Raleigh, NC – Today, Governor Roy Cooper continued his ongoing assault on school choice in North Carolina. The Governor, in his budget proposal, guts future funding for the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program. The Program, deemed as “an expense we should stop in our state” according to Governor Cooper, has grown from serving just over 1,200 students in 2014 to 12,284 students for the 2019-2020 school year, with 15,000 scholarships available to students to enroll in the private school of their parents’ choice this school year (2020-21). Year-in and year-out, thousands of North Carolina families apply for the scholarship program, a trend that the Governor looks to stop in its tracks with his budget proposal.

Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina President Mike Long:

Once again, Governor Roy Cooper has made it his priority to strip low-income, tax-paying families in our state of equal educational access for their children by his proposal to phase out the Opportunity Scholarship Program. With this budget proposal, Gov. Cooper has drawn a line in the sand that says if you are a low-income family trying to exercise educational choice, I am against you.

If Gov. Cooper took the time to listen to families whose children have been awarded Opportunity Scholarships, here is what he would see and hear: Tears rolling down their faces when they talk about the program changing—even saving—their children’s lives. Families like these:

“This has been a tremendous blessing to my family. My child was way behind because of learning disabilities and now is showing great improvement. She was also a victim of bullying that we no longer have an issue with.” — Jennifer, Statesville

“I’m grateful for the Opportunity Scholarship Program so that my child can attend a school where he’s no longer bullied and falling behind.” — Brandi, Greensboro

“Because of this amazing scholarship opportunity, my child has been able to receive an education that is second to none! Being that she is in a private school, she doesn’t have to worry about racism, bullying, etc. She is learning who she is and becoming very comfortable with herself. She isn’t afraid to speak in front of anyone and she’s even able to hold a very intelligent conversation with persons her age and older. Because of the opportunity scholarship my child has been able to meet some very influential people from around the world. This would never happen if I didn’t have the opportunity to pick the school I wanted to attend.” — Iesha, Bayboro

“I adopted two children from the NC foster care system, and we tried our very good public schools here in Mt. Airy, NC, but my children’s needs required a different setting, and the only school that would allow them the education they needed was too expensive for us. I am so grateful for the Opportunity Scholarship.” — Sarah, Mount Airy

Gov. Cooper is not only out of touch but heartless in his campaign to rip educational choice away from thousands of low-income families in our state, especially during this time of COVID-19 that is leaving everyone scrambling to meet the educational needs of their children.