FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2013
CONTACT: Donald Bryson at 919-710-0484 or DBryson@afphq.org
Americans for Prosperity Responds To NCAE Lawsuit Against School Voucher Program
Raleigh, NC – Americans for Prosperity, one of North Carolina’s leading advocates for educational freedom, has issued a statement in regards to a lawsuit filed today by the North Carolina Association of Educators. The lawsuit was filed today in Wake County Superior Court and contends that the newly created Opportunity Scholarship Program – for low-income students to attend private schools – is unconstitutional.
AFP-North Carolina Policy Specialist, Donald Bryson had this to say:
“This lawsuit is true demagoguery from a special interest group. While NCAE senior staff are raking in six-figure salaries and advancing this lawsuit, their membership are paying dues to help prevent low-income students from having increased educational options through private school choice. It is unconscionable that a group representing educators would file a lawsuit to prevent children in low-income families from going to the school of their parents’ choice.”
“The State Constitution requires the General Assembly to maintain a ‘general and uniform system of free public schools.’ To my knowledge, the Opportunity Scholarship program begins in 2014 and our statewide public school system will continue to exist. The NCAE is attacking a type of voucher program that has been repeatedly held as constitutional in state and federal courts – particularly in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002).”
“Our public school system provides an adequate education for hundreds of thousands of students every year. This program is designed to help those families who do not, financially, have a choice in their child’s education. An attack on this program is an attack on those families.”
The Opportunity Scholarship program was created as part of the North Carolina State Budget earlier this year. State lawmakers set aside $10 million in the budget to help pay private school tuition for about 2,500 students, starting in the 2014-15 school year. To be eligible, students must be currently be enrolled in public school and be eligible for free or reduced price lunches.
The appropriation for the Opportunity Scholarship program, in the 2014-15 Fiscal Year, makes up one-tenth of one percent of the Education portion of the State’s General Fund.
For further information or an interview, please contact Donald Bryson at DBryson@afphq.org or 919-710-0484
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org