On Tuesday, February 28th, a group of African-American Democrats at the North Carolina General Assembly held a press conference in support of school choice.
Not just homeschooling or charters, but ALL choice — including Opportunity Scholarships, which NC Democrats and Governor Cooper would like to see cut.
Report Via Education NC, detailing the legislators involved in this support of School Choice:
Although alternatives to traditional public schools have historically been promoted by Republicans, Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, Rep. Edward Hanes, D-Forsyth, Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram, D-Bertie, and Sen. Ben Clark, D-Cumberland spoke of the importance of choice in bringing opportunities to disadvantaged students. Parents should be able to choose whatever environment leads to the success of their child, they said, including traditional public schools, charter public schools, private schools, and home schools.
“Make no mistake,” Moore said in a press conference, “the bedrock of strong communities starts with our schools, and we are here to ensure that every child ”” let me reiterate, every child ”” receives the best education possible regardless of his or her zip code or family income.”
Sen. Joel Ford, D-Mecklenburg, Rep. Elmer Floyd, D-Cumberland, Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford, and Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, also stood at the press conference. The coalition was backed by Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC).
Opportunity scholarships, also known as vouchers, have been attacked in particular by public school advocates ”” especially on the Democratic side. In this program, public money helps pay for a child to go to a private school, which critics say are not held to the same standards as public schools.
Clark addressed this concern, saying he often hears people say they don’t want their taxpayer money going to a private institution.
“But what they fail to understand is those public dollars are going to educate children who are a part of our citizenry,” Clark said. “So again, the expenditure of public funds for a public cause is a great thing, and I can think of no greater cause than the education of our children.”
Video via Education NC: