In case you missed it, NC is finally being recognized as a school choice leader.
— A.P. Dillon (@APDillon_) December 2, 2017
Excerpt from the Houston Chronicle story referenced in the tweet above:
The GOP legislature last summer created the “Personal Education Savings Account” program, so starting next fall parents of 300 children with autism, brain injury and other disabilities could receive up to $9,000 a year. The money goes on a debit card to the parent to pay for private-school tuition, educational therapies or certain equipment.
Nearly 7,000 students benefited last year from North Carolina’s first two programs: grants for special needs children and “Opportunity Scholarships” for children from low-income families. Under current law, close to 35,000 of the scholarships would be awarded annually by 2027.
Sounds great right? Because it is. Yet we have the typical naysayers:
Program opponents say the savings accounts take money from public schools that districts can’t afford to lose. Little time was offered for legislative debate about the savings accounts this year. There’s no published study yet comparing academic outcomes for students in the North Carolina programs compared to public school students.
“There’s no accountability to the taxpayers that these programs are actually producing what they’re supposed to,” said Leanne Winner with the North Carolina School Boards Association. “I don’t know of another state that has put these many options, programs on the books as quickly as North Carolina has.”
Ms. Winner, private schools have accountability.
Going beyond the criteria a school has to meet to be eligible to accept voucher, there’s the ultimate accountability measure. It’s called PARENTS. If parents are unhappy, they vote with their feet and move their child somewhere else.
In fact, that’s what parents have been doing for over five years now in North Carolina – using the power of school choice to select what they believe are the best educational outcomes for their kids.
[ Related: NC School Choice Boom: 29 New Charters School Apps ]