“The Republican-led N.C. Legislature seems determined not just to undermine our public schools, but to destroy them… Yet the Legislature refuses to release the funding necessary to provide a “sound, basic education” for every child, as stated in our N.C. Constitution.”
Public education is the bedrock of our democracy. The Republican-led N.C. Legislature seems determined not just to undermine our public schools, but to destroy them.
Proposed SB405 and HB823 would drastically expand the “Opportunity Scholarships” giving private school vouchers even to wealthy families. Yet the Legislature refuses to release the funding necessary to provide a “sound, basic education” for every child, as stated in our N.C. Constitution, as court-mandated through the Leandro decision.
Private schools don’t have to meet the same academic standards as public schools. They don’t have to accept students with disabilities and can discriminate on the basis of race. They can teach their version of religion (75% are religious) and are not required to provide transportation or student lunches. Even with a voucher, many middle- and lower-income families, especially in rural areas, would not be able to afford a private school.
This effort to defund public education would take $2.23 billion of public money (our taxes) from our public schools over the next 10 years. Teachers would receive little or no pay raises, up-to-date books for students would not be purchased, buildings would fall into disrepair or be forced to close, and communities would lose important centers of civic life.
As a taxpayer and concerned citizen I call on Sen. Carl Ford, Rep. Harry Warren, Rep. Kevin Crutchfield and Rep. Julia Howard representing Rowan County to stand up for all children, giving them what they need to thrive by fully funding our public schools through the court-mandated Leandro decision.
Gov. Roy Cooper has rightfully declared the voucher expansion a “state of emergency” in public education. As citizens we need to also sound the alarm.