House Education Committee takes up voucher plan (video)

The North Carolina “Opportunity Scholarship Act” will gets its first hearing before the House Education Committee today.

Supporters contend House Bill 944 gives students a choice, a chance to attend a private institution that may better serve their individual needs.

But critics maintain that taxpayer money should stay within the public school system, and once that money is directed to  private schools, there is no accountability to ensure that students are getting a high quality education.

Bill sponsor Rep. Rob Bryan says under the revised bill, $10 million would be earmarked for the program in its first year and $40 million the second year. Eligible families would receive an amount not to exceed $4,200 per year, per student.

Matt Ellinwood,  a policy analyst with the Justice Center’s Education & Law Project, says lawmakers should be concerned because in education systems that have experimented with vouchers, traditional public school students regularly outperform voucher recipients.

Ellinwood joined us over the weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss his research on vouchers and “opportunity scholarships.”  Click below to hear a portion of the interview or click here to listen to the full radio interview or download a podcast.

The House Education Committee meets this morning at 11:00 a.m. in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building.
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