Left-Leaning Teacher Organizations Sue Over Private School Voucher Program | Beaufort County Now | North Carolinaís largest teacher organization is suing to kill a program helping low-income families send their children to private schools. | carolina journal, teacher organizations, lawsuit, private school voucher program, july 28, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Left-Leaning Teacher Organizations Sue Over Private School Voucher Program

Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal, and written by Lindsay Marchello.

    North Carolina's largest teacher organization is suing to kill a program helping low-income families send their children to private schools.

    Seven N.C. parents filed a lawsuit Monday, July 27, in Wake County Superior Court challenging the constitutionality of the Opportunity Scholarship program. The N.C. Association of Educators and the National Education Association support the parents.

    A successful lawsuit would have dire consequences for as many as 15,000 low-income children using private school scholarships, said Terry Stoops, vice president of research and director of education studies at the John Locke Foundation. Nearly half of the families in the program are minorities, Stoops said.

    "This lawsuit is further proof that teacher unions care more about strengthening the public school monopoly than allowing low-income children to attend the school that best meets their needs."

    The NCAE and the NEA have opposed the Opportunity Scholarship program since its inception.

    The lawsuit argues the Opportunity Scholarship program discriminates against LGBT families and uses state money to support religious schools.

    Private schools are unaccountable to parents and taxpayers, NEA President Lily Eskelsen GarcŪa says in a news release. Tamika Walker Kelly, president of the NCAE, is one of the seven parents suing over the program.

    "Vouchers for private schools are an affront to a state that has a long and cherished history of public education," said Walker Kelly.

    The Opportunity Scholarship program was created in 2014, but opponents took it to court before it could begin. But the N.C. Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision in 2015, declared it constitutional.

    The plaintiffs might have a better chance in the state Supreme Court than their predecessors, Stoops told Carolina Journal.

    Democrats outnumber Republicans on the state Supreme Court six to one.

    "Voucher opponents hope that our left-leaning state Supreme Court will do what the court wouldn't in 2015 — use an elastic interpretation of the state constitution to eliminate the state's private school scholarship program for low-income children," Stoops said.

    The lawsuit comes as the state grapples with providing a quality education during the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools won't reopen fully at the start of the 2020-21 school year. Instead they'll go fully online or alternate between in-person and online instruction.

    Republican lawmakers want students back in the classroom. Private schools are offering in-person learning, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a news release. While wealthier families can afford to send their children to these schools, low-income families often can't.

    Opportunity Scholarships give them that opportunity, Berger said. He urged parents to apply to the voucher program, which provides low-income families upwards of $4,200 to pay for private school tuition and fees.


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Democrats have started to face backlash online after photographs emerged Thursday of National Guardsmen being forced to sleep in parking garages while also having minimal access to restrooms and other essential items.
The great gift this Christmas was that help was on the way. The vaccine was a welcome gift 10 months into the pandemic. It is no exaggeration that North Carolinaís vaccination rollout started poorly.
State health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen updated N.C. residents on COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday, Jan. 21.


Get your batsuit and hang tight with the Wolfman as we enter into Gotham City for battle.
Sherry-Lynn Womack finds herself in the proverbial hot water. Her crime? Womack went up to Washington, D.C., for the rally for Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
The year ended with a record-breaking $3.1 trillion deficit and, as usual, the U.S. government managed to blow tens of billions on a myriad of wasteful projects that should provoke outrage among tax-paying Americans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will deliver an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday.
Protecting the Club is more important than standing on principle



Back to Top