School Choice Supported in NC

Special Report - April 4, 2013

A majority of North Carolinians support policies that would provide parents with more education options for their children, according to a new survey. The poll, which was commissioned by Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) and conducted by SurveyUSA, surveyed 900 North Carolina adults (including 807 registered voters) in March by phone or online.

The PEFNC survey questioned participants on a number of issues related to school choice, including about some proposals that are currently before the General Assembly. Among the survey’s key findings:

  • 64 percent of North Carolinians said that, “Providing parents with more options will improve education for all students,” while just 23 percent said, “Public education will be harmed by allowing parents to exercise other educational options.”
  • 72 percent of those polled said they supported “giving local public school districts more flexibility in making decisions on how to fund and run their schools,” while only 13 percent opposed this statement (15 percent were not sure).
  • 47 percent supported allowing “local school principals and superintendents [to] have greater flexibility, without school approval, to make more personnel and funding decisions for their schools,” while 37 percent were opposed and 16 percent were unsure.
  • Over half (56 percent) supported the “state providing scholarship grants of around $4,000 a year to help families pay for tuition and other educational expenses at a school of their choice,” while 32 percent were opposed, and 12 percent were unsure.
  • 59 percent supported a tax credit scholarship system, which is defined as a “policy that gives tax credits to businesses” that “contribute money to nonprofit organizations that distribute scholarships to” limited income families to attend a private school of their choice, including nonreligious or religious private schools.

In North Carolina, two bills related to expanding school choice have been filed in the 2013 legislative session of the General Assembly. H269—Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grants, with primary sponsors Representatives Jonathan Jordan (R–Ashe), Marcus Brandon (D–Guilford), Bert Jones (R–Caswell), and Paul “Skip” Stam (R–Wake), creates scholarship grants that “will be awarded to reimburse tuition and special education and related services for each eligible child who is educated in a homeschool or nonpublic school.” To be eligible to receive the grant, “a child must have an IEP, must be receiving special education on a daily basis, and must meet at least one” of the following requirements: “was previously enrolled in a N.C. public school during the previous semester, or received special education or related services through a state public school as a preschooler with a disability during the previous semester, or received a scholarship grant for the previous semester, or is eligible for enrollment in kindergarten or first grade in an North Carolina public school.” H269 also specifies that the grants cannot exceed $3,000 per semester, and that after receiving the scholarship, a child must be reevaluated every three years. H269 currently resides in the Education Committee.

Additionally, lawmakers in the North Carolina House have introduced H144—Homeschool Educational Income Tax Credit, a bill that would entitle parents who choose to homeschool their children in elementary, middle, or high school to a $1,250 tax credit each semester per homeschooled child. The bill, with primary sponsors Representatives Larry Pittman (R–Cabarrus), Carl Ford (R–Cabarrus), Chris Malone (R–Wake), and Jacqueline Schaffer (R–Mecklenburg), currently resides in the Education Committee.

Related resources:
North Carolinians Support School Choice - March 12, 2013
School Choice: Finding the Way Forward in North Carolina - FNC - Winter, 2013
Education Week at the NCGA - February 26, 2013
Parent Triggered Education Reform - November 13, 2012
Parents Influence Academic Success - November 5, 2012
Parent Power In Education - September 25, 2012
NC Voters Approve School Choice - September 20, 2012
NC Supporters Support Charter Schools - July 19, 2012
Education Committee Approves Reforms - May 30, 2012
Moms Support School Vouchers - May 22, 2012
School Choice Lowers Crime - April 5, 2012
Record School Choice Expansion - January 30, 2012
2011 Legislative Review - June 22, 2011
Charter School Checkmate: North Carolina's Success Despite Institutionalized Opposition - FNC - September, 2010
Education Day at the Legislature - June 10, 2011
Condition Of Education Report Released - June 2, 2010
Education Standards Have Little Effect - February 23, 2010
Report Evaluates Education Innovation - November 18, 2009

Copyright © 2013. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.

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