by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
In his North State Journal op-ed, Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), chairman of the House Finance Committee, affirms his commitment to the Opportunity Scholarship Program and urges his colleagues to do the same.
Thanks to these reforms, parents no longer face a one-size-fits-all, top-down bureaucratic approach to their child’s public education in North Carolina. Our state should maintain this commitment to modernization, investing in a competitive learning environment, and encouraging innovation in the classroom.
Yet, Gov. Roy Cooper removed future Opportunity Scholarship funding for low-income students in his budget release Wednesday. House Democrats held a press conference the day prior to support the school choice scholarships for poor families, but Cooper stripped the funding for future students anyway.
I will stand by my commitment to improve the education system in North Carolina by giving parents the right to choose the best opportunity for their children to excel.
I urge my colleagues in the General Assembly to fully fund Opportunity Scholarships in the state budget and keep our promise to parents and students across the state.
Unlike Governor Cooper, Brawley wants to preserve a program that serves low-income students, mostly from minority communities. In fact, 59 percent of the nearly 5,500 low-income students receiving an Opportunity Scholarship belong to an ethnic or racial minority group.