Governor Cooper seeks to eliminate scholarship that provides educational options to low-income families

Raleigh, NC (March 6, 2019) – Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) issued the following statement today on Governor Cooper’s proposed budget for the next two years that reduces and ultimately eliminates funding for the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

“It’s disappointing, though not surprising, that Roy Cooper would once again prioritize a one-size-fits-all education system ahead of low-income families by attacking the very program providing thousands of North Carolina students equal access to a quality education,” said PEFNC President Mike Long.

The Governor’s recommended budget freezes funding in its current state for the program, meaning no new applicants will be awarded scholarships. Yet as of today 7,100 new families have applied for an Opportunity Scholarship for the coming school year. Based on the Governor’s budget, they’d be shut out.

“What is Governor Cooper’s message to the thousands of new families applying for the Opportunity Scholarship? It tells them he is not interested in making real investments in their families and children for a determined North Carolina, but instead the Governor is determined to protect the education establishment over them,” added Long, a 35-year educator before joining PEFNC. “We’ve heard from parents who are benefiting from this program as well as parents determined to provide better options for their children by applying for the program. And their voices say resoundingly, ‘We want access to a quality education regardless of our zip code or income.’ Governor, I wish you would hear their voices.”

Since the program was established, over 53,000 applications have been submitted for the Opportunity Scholarship, and 9,535 students are enrolled in the school of their parents’ choice through the scholarship.

Additionally, PEFNC just released a survey of nearly 1,500 Opportunity Scholarship families. Among the findings of those surveyed; 97% are happy with their child’s academic progress, 97% are satisfied or very satisfied with the Program, and 99% say their child feels safe. See more highlights from the parent survey here.