North Carolina’s big school voucher problem

Dec 27, 2017

By Lauryn Higgins

In July of 2013, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory signed a state budget that included school choice vouchers for students and implemented a new program called the Opportunity Scholarship Program. At the time, North Carolina was the tenth state to implement a program that has now grown to 13 states and the District of Columbia.

The Opportunity Scholarship Program allows students in underserved public schools the chance to attend a private institution and receive an education with a grant of up to $4,200 a year, which is funded through tax-payer dollars. Kindergarten through twelfth grade students who come from a low-income, military or foster home family qualify for the scholarship.

At its conception, the program was well received. Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, said that “Thousands of our neediest students will have access to additional schools that could potentially best meet their needs. This was accomplished, in large part, due to the determination of legislators on both sides of the aisle and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and find a way to get it done. For that, we thank them.

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4 comments on “North Carolina’s big school voucher problem

  • The only real difference, as far as I am concerned, between the advocates of this voucher system and the 911 attackers (our worst enemies) is that the former do not have the guts to fly a plane into a building! A slight exaggeration, but my point is this: the religious right is essentially a violent and hate-filled group. (Too much visceral empathy, Phil?) That is certain. They are totalitarian. they persecute. Left to their own devices the religious right in this country, and in top levels of govt. (Devos, Pruitt, Pence, etc.), will turn this country into a Taliban-like society – if we’re lucky. The gradual, imperceptible erosion of the separation of church and state. — That is very, very dangerous! So agitated I can hardly bare it. Must lie down.

    And this is as much about keeping people dumb as it is about anything else.

    (On a positive note, the 2018 mid-terms are looking good for the Dems.)

    This excerpt from the article speaks for itself:

    In 2016, 90% of the voucher money went to enrolling students in faith-based schools that were Christian or Islamic rooted. These religious institutions are solely funded through tuition and annual gift-giving fundraisers. However, what many find concerning is the extent to which these private faith-based institutions can discriminate admittance and use their religion to do so.

    Wesleyan Christian Academy, a participating private kindergarten through 12th grade education institution in The Opportunity Scholarship Program, is based in High Point, North Carolina. According to their student handbook, they will not admit families that openly participate in “supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual orientation, homosexual activity, or bisexual activity; promoting such practices; or being unable to support the moral principles of the school.” They cite Romans 1:18-32 to back up their decision. Wesleyan Christian Academy also affirms that “Every student is expected to attend all chapel services,” which are determined at the start of each year and held on a weekly basis. Their dress code bars sixth through 12th grade students from wearing shorts, hats, sundresses and any form of clothing, make-up or body piercing that is “styled after the pop culture.”

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  • @-OP – Kindergarten through twelfth grade students who come from a low-income, military or foster home family qualify for the scholarship.

    So basically it is a scheme to ensure that the dependent, poor, and needy, get the indoctrinating pseudo-education, which will keep the next generation dependent poor and needy! – and of course regular in attendance, top-up indoctrinated, and contributing money and effort to the churches!

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  • the religious right is essentially a violent and hate-filled group. (Too much visceral empathy, Phil?)


    Those obsessed with personal salvation are the most selfish of all. Recruitment of others is only building up their store. The battles with outsiders, ditto. Once religion threatens you with hell all empathy is suppressed (like the chilling WBC mom) or reconfigured to service only this higher personal survival need. But no one deeply religious risks hell in the hope of saving another loved one from it.

    High empathy folks are mutualists and live on the left. Anxious folks tend to live on the right.

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  • I see the right-wing pseudo-education ideologists, are pushing their propagandists into English education by similar devious appointments to those of the US Trumpies!

    Writer Toby Young has faced criticism over his appointment to the board of a new higher education watchdog.

    The Spectator columnist was praised by the education department for the “vital insights” his record as the founder of a free school will bring to the role.

    For those readers overseas: “Free” in this context, means “Free of most local regulation” by local elected representatives and professional administrators!

    But he was branded a “Tory cheerleader” by a lecturers union and comments he made in 2012 about inclusivity have sparked a social media backlash.

    The Office for Students is due to start work in April.

    Its remit is to hold universities to account on issues like vice chancellors’ pay and free speech on campus, with powers to fine universities which fail to meet the required standards.

    Mr Young, who co-founded the West London Free School in 2011 and runs the New School Network, is one of six new appointments to the regulator’s board.

    Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “If this organisation was to have any credibility it needed a robust board looking out for students’ interests.

    “Instead we have this announcement sneaked out at new year with Tory cheerleader Toby Young dressed up as the voice of teachers and no actual representation from staff or students.”

    Labour MP David Lammy said on social media on Monday: “Is that Toby Young who said I was wrong to criticise Oxbridge for failing to improve access?

    “The Toby Young who only got into Oxford University because his Dad rang the tutor up?

    Critics have highlighted Mr Young’s description of working class students as “stains” in a 1988 book about class.

    Comments Mr Young made in a Spectator column in 2012 have also come under fire on social media, with some calling for the journalist’s appointment to be blocked by higher education minister Jo Johnson.

    He wrote: “Schools have got to be ‘inclusive’ these days.
    That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from Dyslexia to Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.”

    He called on the government to “repeal the Equality Act because any exam that isn’t ‘accessible’ to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be “elitist” and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law”.

    To set up a free school, founding groups submit applications to the Department for Education.[12] Groups include those run by parents, education charities and religious groups.[13]
    Start-up grants are provided to establish the schools and ongoing funding is on an equivalent basis with other locally controlled state maintained schools.

    Free schools are subject to the same School Admissions Code as all other State-funded schools, although they are subject to the 50% Rule whereby oversubscribed free schools with a faith designation must allocate at least half of their places without reference to faith.[4][5]

    Like other types of academy, free schools are governed by non-profit charitable trusts that sign funding agreements with the Education Secretary.[6][7]
    There are different model funding agreements for single academy trusts and multi academy trusts.

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