Clearly, NC parents want school choice

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Bob Kellogg (

To help meet the high demand from parents, legislators in North Carolina have proposed a budget that strongly supports school choice.

More than a thousand students from low-income families were able to take advantage of North Carolina's Opportunity Scholarship Program during the first year. Matt Frendewey, national communications director for the American Federation for Children, sees great things ahead for the K-12 program, as more than 12,000 applications have been submitted during its two-year lifespan.


"And that just really goes to show you that when given an opportunity, parents rise up and want those choices," he states. "They want to take ownership of their kids' education, they want to send them to a school of their choice, they want options other than the status quo."

The North Carolina General Assembly proposed nearly $25 million in scholarship funds for the 2016-17 school year, which will allow the scholarship program to accommodate several thousand students.

"[It's] a huge step forward to take the program from just over about 1,100 kids during the first year with 12,000 parents applying to be able to seat at least 6,000 students in this coming year," says Frendewey.

Governor Pat McCrory signed the budget bill, which officially allows the expansion of the scholarship program. Grants of up to $4,200/year are awarded to children deemed eligible and who choose to attend a participating non-public school.

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