State-mandated shutdowns have wreaked havoc on the economy and public education, not to mention a host of other unintended consequences. However, from a cultural and policy perspective, some of the more lasting changes may come in the area of education. The public school model has dominated so much of America and the state for so long, however, the coronavirus is accelerating a need for school choice.
Expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship Program is just another step in allowing more choice for families in North Carolina. The new law raises the eligibility requirement from 133 percent to 150 percent of the free or reduced lunch income threshold. More North Carolina families will be eligible for the program as a family of four making a little over $72,000 can now qualify. The legislation also lifts the cap on the number of kindergarten and first-grade opportunity scholarships that can be given out each year. The reforms passed by the General Assembly caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
With some schools still closed down and only offering remote learning, naturally, parents will continue to look at other options besides public schools. Perhaps more so, if even more families catch on that schools aren’t opening because of union pressure on Gov. Roy Cooper.
Below is the entire Septemeber issue of NC Capitol Connectin: