“Remind our state legislators they take an oath to uphold the state constitution. That includes providing for free public schools and maintaining the educational standard.”
Gov. Roy Cooper recently declared a state of emergency in public education, saying that “state lawmakers would ‘starve’ public education, citing the horrendous universal private school vouchers bill currently in our state legislature.
What is most concerning is that legislators are planning to expand the state’s voucher program while refusing to release the constitutionally required (and court-mandated) funding necessary to provide a “sound, basic education” for every child in North Carolina and failing to adequately pay our teachers. This plan (SB-406) will defund public schools — including public charters — and exacerbate inequity.
A recent article from Time magazine titled “How School Voucher Programs Hurt Students” (https://time.com/6272666/school-voucher-programs-hurt-students/) written by an analyst with two decades of research, addresses the impact of vouchers in states that have expanded their voucher programs.
Private schools do not have to meet the same standards as public schools. They do not have to accept students with disabilities and can discriminate based on race, lgbtqia status or ability. They do not have to provide lunch or public transportation.
North Carolina currently ranks 48th in the nation in per-pupil funding. The state still owes $655 million to fund years 2 and 3 of the court-mandated 8-year Leandro Plan to bring public school funding in line with North Carolina’s constitutional requirement to provide a sound, basic education to every child in the state.
Remind our state legislators they take an oath to uphold the state constitution. That includes providing for free public schools and maintaining the educational standard.