While the legislature has done a pretty good job of cutting funding to private entities in the state budget, it was only a matter of time before groups that some would describe as “right of center” started to help themselves to dollars at the taxpayer funded public trough, more commonly known as the North Carolina State Budget.
While Parents for Educational Freedom North Carolina (PEFNC) is a good organization, and it’s goals — expanded educational opportunities for parents and children — are honorable, I can’t support a provision in the proposed House Budget (see page 70-71) that provides PEFNC close to a half million dollars ($464,100) for a pilot program to develop rural charter schools in under-served counties.
It’s nothing personal PEFNC, it’s the principle. This isn’t the first time Civitas has opposed providing government tax monies or other assistance to non profits. We have opposed providing public monies for the Public School Forum and the Teaching Fellows program. We have even opposed money for the NC Symphony and for “grassroots arts” program. Providing taxpayer dollars to private organizations – no matter how public their name may sound — puts government in the position of picking winners and losers. If It’s wrong for government to provide money for liberal non-profits and for community non-profits, it’s just as wrong for government to provide money for conservative non-profits.
I fully support the idea of developing rural charter schools. I can ‘t support providing tax dollars to PEFNC or any other private entity as the means for doing so. Good idea; wrong vehicle.