Commentary

McCrory signs flawed budget that includes massive new spending on unaccountable voucher scheme

To no one’s surprise Gov. Pat McCrory today signed the flawed budget passed by the General Assembly a few weeks ago. McCrory signed the bill at a public elementary school in Monroe to highlight the salary increases for teachers in the spending plan.

But the budget also includes a massive increase in funding for the school voucher scheme that directs taxpayer money away from public schools like the one McCrory visited today to almost completely unaccountable private schools and religious academies, many of which openly discriminate against LGBT students and teach bizarre theories as science including the claim that humans and dinosaurs co-existed on earth.

As NC Policy Watch’s Billy Ball reported last month, the budget spends $34.8 million more dollars on the voucher scheme this year and increases the funding every year until it reaches $134.8 million in 2026-2027.

That’s an awful lot of of public money for unaccountable private schools to teach students things that aren’t true.

4 Comments


  1. Joe Haas, Ed.D.

    July 14, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Chris – your flawed commentary is misleading. Why not write about the data from the NC General Assembly fiscal research showing that the Opportunity Scholarship Program actually saves the state taxpayer money? Why not report that the lawfully operated non-public schools are held to a higher level of accountability by both parents and by the requirement to take NATIONALLY standardized achievement tests? That’s something NC public schools do not have to do. They can write their own EOG tests and no long take nationally standardized tests. Why not report of the largest NAEP gains for 4th grade to 8th grade scores from 2011-2015 was the state of Arizona. Why is that significant – Arizona is the leader in parent choice programs like the NC Opportunity Scholarship and Special Needs grant programs. The public deserves better and more accuracy in your commentaries. Unfortunately, your bias is showing.

  2. Chris Fitzsimon

    July 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Why doesn’t the voucher law specify a specific achievement test? Or even better, why not require voucher schools to administer the same tests as public schools so we can compare student achievement?

    And surely it troubles you that taxpayer money is supporting schools that teach anything they want and call it science? Parents are free to choose any school they want, even if their children are learning that dinosaurs and people co-existed, but why should the public have to support it?

    And speaking of things that public schools have to do, they have to take every child, regardless of special needs, disability, income levels, behavioral issues, etc. Thank goodness they do. Private schools can admit or deny admission to whomever they want and by the way can also openly discriminate against LGBT students—and many do.

  3. Alex

    July 15, 2016 at 7:46 am

    We have been pouring money Chris into public schools for years with little or no results so why not try something new ? Why are we scared to give up political control of the educational system ?

  4. Alan

    July 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Alex’s comment “give up political control of the educational system” is entirely without merit. It has been the task of the far-right in this state to take control of PUBLIC education to further their warped agenda on the rest of us. One only has to look at the failed Tea Party takeover of WCPSS which was soundly rejected by voters (and made NC the laughing stock of national & international news). We want REAL education and REAL science, not a special interest funded “education” that ignores scientific facts and pushes ridiculous “theories” such as creationism.

    Let’s call the voucher scheme for what we all really know it to be, WELFARE. The very same folks who decry and despise aid to those less fortunate in times of need, are the very ones happy to get their guv’mint handout at the expense of everyone else. Their selfishness knows no bounds.

    If any parent wants to send their child to a private school, then that’s a choice they are free to make. Why is it they expect the rest of us to subsidize THEIR choice through handouts?

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