School choice is a good deal for taxpayers | Beaufort County Now | Choice payments are less than the cost if the student was in public school

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David Bass, writing for the Carolina Journal reports:

Two of the Tar Heel State’s school choice programs have saved taxpayers between $74.1 million and $154.3 million through fiscal 2018, according to an updated analysis from the school choice advocacy organization EdChoice.

Those figures translate to between $3,373 and $7,022 in local and state taxpayer savings for each student enrolled in these programs.

“These savings result from many of the students who exercised choice who would have been enrolled in a public school if these choice programs did not exist — and enrolled in public schools at a much larger taxpayer cost,” wrote Martin F. Lueken, director of the Fiscal Research and Education Center at EdChoice.

For the 40 school choice programs across the U.S., the cumulative impact in cost savings is between $12.4 billion and $28.3 billion in net savings for local and state taxpayers.

In North Carolina, Opportunity Scholarships are valued at up to $4,200 a year and help low- and moderate-income families send their children to private school. Due to a significant expansion included in the new state budget, the scholarships will now be worth up to $5,900 annually. They also will be expanded to new families due to an increased income threshold needed to qualify.

Through the current school year, the Children with Disabilities Grant Program provides up to $8,000 a year for students with special needs to help defray the cost of tuition, specialized treatment, and therapies or equipment. Under the new budget, the grant program is now combined with the Education Savings Account, funded at more than $31 million beginning with the 2022-23 school year.

A recent poll found that two-thirds of likely voters in North Carolina support the Opportunity Scholarship Program.

“The beauty of school choice is that there are so many wins,” said Mike Long, president of school-choice advocacy organization Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina. “It levels the playing field for families seeking educational opportunity, it funds students not systems, it empowers parents who know what’s best for their child, it saves taxpayers’ money, it reduces overcrowded classrooms, and it ensures economic equality for all. I am thankful that North Carolina continues to be a school choice leader for the nation.”

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( January 17th, 2022 @ 1:05 pm )
For the past year it has been on my mind so strong that I cannot shake it.

I am passionate about helping our kids that have fallen behind because of environment, learning disabilities, no direction or encouragement, and the Pandemic

As pointed out by the BC School Superintendent, many children were behind before Covid. With the year that was supposed to be “online learning”, which many of these kids did nothing, many are now two to three years behind. He says it will take a lot of these children 4 years to catch up. This means more discouraged Kids and more will drop out. This just puts more on the Street. There needs to be facilities for these kids as well as gifted children.

• Private schools have more autonomy than Charter Schools and can be started more quickly.
• There are now large amounts of Government funds available, State and Federal.
• This program could be designed to bring a student from where he is, no matter where on the learning scale, to the grade level that they should be.
• Life skills could be a large part of the curriculum.
• Parent involvement would be developed.
• Volunteer Mentors.
• Successful Icons of successful people that the child can wish to emulate.
• Positive re-enforcement for the progress of each child.
• Filling the needs of individuals.

What is the reward:
1. Changing and enhancing a life.
2. Creating opportunities for those with hidden talents.
3. Stopping the huge pending “School Drop-out”.
4. More productive people in our communities.
5. More success stories for those following to see and learn from.
6. Taking part in helping our whole society.
7. This program could be a template for others to follow.

“The greatest business on the planet Earth is to make someone’s life better”

I am sure there are other wholesome things that can be introduced into this kind of endeavor. We need an organization that can sponsor this kind of program.

Mount Olive University is moving out of their location in Washington NC. They are leaving behind all of the infrastructures of classrooms and computer room along with wiring for drop-down projectors and WIFI hookups. The interior value is about one and one half million dollars that is free for the next user.

What a wonderful addition to Beaufort County this could be.

Buzz Cayton

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