Whether 11,259 Students Can Go Back to Their School is Up to a Judge

Far-left NCAE asking a judge to strip 11,259 kids of Opportunity Scholarship funding weeks before class begins

Up to a judge whether low-income kids can attend private school

Raleigh, N.C. — The far-left N.C. Association of Educators, with support from Gov. Roy Cooper, is asking a North Carolina judge to block Opportunity Scholarships for 11,259 children. It’s now up to a judge to decide whether those students can attend the school of their choice or be thrown out of the Opportunity Scholarship program right before classes start.

Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga), who co-chairs the Senate Education Committee, said, “Children from well-off families can attend whatever school they like. But for 11,259 low- and middle-income kids, the only hope they have of getting the same education is the Opportunity Scholarship program. I hope the judge doesn’t throw these children and their families into turmoil days before classes begin.”

For the 2020–21 school year, 11,259 children are set to receive Opportunity Scholarship funding. The application window is still open, so that number will likely grow. The program serves more Black students than traditional public schools do.

The number of low- and middle-income children receiving Opportunity Scholarships have increased 926% since 2014. Many private schools are open for in-person instruction while public schools are closed for the majority of North Carolina students.

Senator Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) said, “It’s unfathomable that as families prepare to go back to school the NCAE would try and jeopardize the education of thousands of children across the state. This latest attempt to end a popular program makes it clear that the NCAE is nothing more than a far-left political organization masquerading as an advocacy organization.”

Scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that keeping students out of the classroom is harmful, especially to at-risk students. Public health authorities, including the CDC, have been sounding the alarm about the severe consequences of prohibiting children from getting in-person classroom instruction.

Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, recently told Congress, “I don’t think I can emphasize it enough as the director for the Centers for Disease Control, the leading public health agency in the world — it is in the public health interest that these K through 12 students to get the schools back open for face-to-face learning.”

A group of Harvard public health experts wrote last month that preventing students from learning in the classroom “will be an educational disaster that some children may never recover from.”

Gov. Roy Cooper and Democrats in the legislature have been trying to defund the Opportunity Scholarship program for years. The far-left NCAE’s lawsuit means it’s now up to a judge to decide whether 11,259 students can attend their school of choice, or if parents and families will be forced to scramble at the last minute to ensure their child receives the instruction best suited for them.

The official Medium account for N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office.

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