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GOP lawmakers to begin push for private school vouchers

House Speaker Pro Tem Paul “Skip” Stam said he plans to introduce a $90 million plan to provide vouchers that will allow many parents to send their children to private schools.

Stam said the bill will offer a maximum $4,200 “equal opportunity scholarship grant” per child for those who meet income eligibility requirements, he told the Carolina Journal.

He estimated that it 52 percent of North Carolina school children would be eligible for vouchers for the 2013-14 school year, and 65 percent the following year. He said a scholarship could not exceed 90 percent of the cost of a private school's charges for tuition fees.

Stam said the vouchers would save the state money because it now costs state and local governments $6,745 per per child, while the vouchers would cost $3,990 per child.

He cited a state-wide poll conducted for the Civitas Institute, showing broad public support for the measure.

"We've been trying to do this for about 20 years," Stam told The Journal. ""It is nice to have a majority in the legislature to be able to actually do it.''
Former Congressman Bill Cobey, the new chairman of the state Board of Education, voiced support for the proposal. During the campaign, Gov. Pat McCrory voiced limited support for vouchers saying he backed tax credits for "targeted" groups of children.


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Cooldela, Yes. Some kids

Cooldela,
Yes. Some kids require few resources, some kids require more resources. Can you dispute that? If some parents want they're kids out of public schools, fine, but don't hurt public school funding through vouchers because those parents want a private school. Next up you'll argue that taxpayers without kids should get school vouchers for car purchases.

For the greater good?

enviro,

You wrote: "That leaves fewer resources for public schools that deal with students needing greater attention and costs..."

So you are saying to the parent of a child who would benefit from going to a private school, "We will not give you a voucher because we need your child to count as a number so that we can get more funding for those students needing greater attention and cost."

I am not too sure that the parent of that child would understand your reasoning. That parent is probably concerned more about his own child and his or her future. It may be a noble cause to sacrifice your own child's education for the good of those students needing more attention but I think it is asking a lot of the parents.

Public Schools for the Poor

Cooldela -- by design the vouchers won't cover the entire private school costs, the remainder covered by parents. That leaves fewer resources for public schools that deal with students needing greater attention and costs to make up for fewer in-home resources. Segregated schools by class. That's the goal of vouchers.

Vouchers level the playing field

Those who can afford it can send their child to a private school for whatever reason.

Those who cannot afford it have to rely on the public schools.

Vouchers would level the playing field and make it more affordable for parents to choose a private school.

Freedom of choice. Isn't that what America is all about?

School Vouchers

Cost per student is not a realistic measure to evaluate the savings to the state by funding vouchers.

$90 million can provide a $4200 voucher to approximately 21,429 students. There are 2418 schools in NC. Each school may have 9 students who receive a voucher. That is not enough students to reduce the overall cost for each school. The number of teachers can't be reduced, administrators and other related expenses such as the number of buses needed to transport the students because 9 students leave.

Public schools provide school health services, meal programs, counseling programs, athletic teams and activity clubs. Voucher funded schools do not have these additional expenses. In addition to these services and activities, public schools are being called on to provide police protection in all buildings! Another expense that voucher funded schools do not encounter.

Mr. Stam's numbers don't tell an accurate picture. By the way, according to the NC Dept of Ed website the state and local costs per student add to $7,254, not the number he used!

School Vouchers

He cited a state-wide poll conducted for the Civitas Institute

The Civitas Institute's goal is to promote a right wing agenda throughout the state, of course their poll shows support for vouchers!

The current group of elected officials ran on a platform that included job creation. When companies look for a place to relocate or start a new business, they want an educated workforce.

The state ranks at the bottom is public school funding, where are they getting the extra $90 million for this scam?

Vouchers will destroy public education as we know it, how does that help create an educated workforce?

Secondly, $90 million at $4200 will cover less than 21,500. Wake County alone has more than 140,000. 52% of the Wake students is 72,800 students!!!

Back to the drawing board on these plans, the numbers are bogus.

SHOCKED

The GOP for years have been trying to destroy public education. This is just another step to do so.

Choice?

Nobody asks you to pay for a woman's choice in having a baby or not, but you want tax money to pay for your choice of private school?

A woman's right to choose

A woman may have the right to choose whether or not to have a child but evidently not have a choice as to where to send the child to school.

What is best for the child?
What is best for the school bureaucracy?

This would end traditional

This would end traditional public schools as we know them. How can we sit back and allow this to happen ? Did anyone really think about the consequences when they voted for these guys. We need to stop this and not allow this legislature to think that they have this much control over the citizens of North Carolina.

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