Imagine the important things in your life: your spouse, your home, your favorite football team. What do they all have in common? You were able to choose them, not have them assigned to you by the political class.
So when it comes to the important issue of children’s education, why do state legislators want to deny families any choice in this decision?
This week’s bad bill, HB 1075 Repeal Opportunity Scholarships, would do exactly that. Sponsored by Reps. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe), Rosa Gill (D-Wake) and Craig Meyer (D-Orange), HB 1075 would repeal the opportunity scholarship program enacted by the legislature last session.
The grant program provides up to $4,200 per year to eligible students to attend the school of their choice. Scholarships would be targeted to lower income families, who may otherwise not be able to afford private school tuition.
This measure is very popular among North Carolina voters, as roughly 68 percent of those polled said they favored the scholarship program. Last year’s budget allocated funding for 2,400 scholarships, and more than twice that many students have applied. The state has received roughly 5,500 applications, and is scheduled to begin awarding scholarships in the next few weeks.
HB 1075 shows that the education establishment and their legislative allies are primarily concerned about maintaining control over as much money as possible and not allowing parents and students to escape from the government system.
The major demand for the scholarship program, along with long waiting lists for charter schools, and the rapidly rising homeschool population all point to a significant desire for families to seek alternatives to failing traditional public schools. Unfortunately, Rep. Glazier and his ilk want to deny any choices for families and their children’s education. High income families can afford options, but the families targeted by the opportunity scholarships cannot. And Rep. Glazier wants to keep it that way.
Imagine the joy of the low-income families receiving a scholarship and thus being granted the opportunity to flee the school currently failing them. Now imagine that scholarship being ripped out of that child’s hands by education establishment enforcers like Rep. Glazier, and the sadness that would follow.
North Carolina families and students are free to choose their pre-k education, and their college education, why should they be prisoner to their zip code when it comes to their k-12 education?
Because it would deny educational options to North Carolina families that otherwise cannot afford to escape failing schools, HB 1075 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.