Parents want more control over the education of their children. And for those low-income families who believe the traditional public classroom has failed them, the state legislature passed the Opportunity Scholarship program. On Tuesday, supporters gathered to implore legislators to fully fund all qualified applicants to the program. As it is, there are more than 5,500 applications and just 2,400 spots available. In all likelihood, not all will qualify once applications are reviewed. Progressives, of course, oppose empowering parents with choices. And take special note of the characterization made by Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland.
After the General Assembly created the Opportunity Scholarships program, opponents of vouchers filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court questioning its constitutionality. In February, Judge Robert Hobgood and issued an injunction blocking implementation of the vouchers.
In May, the N.C. Supreme Court lifted Hobgood’s order, allowing implementation of the Opportunity Scholarships program to move forward. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for August.
Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, who opposes the vouchers, said he thinks the Opportunity Scholarships are unconstitutional.
Glazier said children from lower-income families are being used as temporary cover for a program that eventually would be open to wealthier families who want to leave public schools.
“The vouchers were touted as a way to help poor children of the state have a private opportunity or option,” Glazier said. “But in my view it was never really intended for poorer kids.”
“The poor folks who have applied were used as the bait to get the switch,” Glazier said.
Wow. I wonder how these families are reacting to such an insulting accusation.
I would also point to Rep. Glazier that “wealthier” families already have the means to educate their children at the school(s) of their choice.
In addition, Rep. Glazier seems to acknowledge that the traditional public system isn’t meeting all the needs. And that, of course, is the point we supporters of choice are making.