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Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, the pro-voucher lobbying group behind a tax credit scholarship legislation, spent nearly $16,000 for a May rally that bused students in from Christian schools.

The group paid for transportation, T-shirts and rally signs for the May 21 rally in support of a controversial tax credit scholarship program that would divert state money to pay for scholarships to private or religious schools.

The rally, in which House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, an Apex Republican, announced he was filing House Bill 1104 establishing the voucher alternative, had attendance of nearly 1,000 children, parents and teachers.

N.C. Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam at May 21 tax credit scholarship rally

It looks like PEFNC paid handsomely to get a crowd that size – lobbying records filed yesterday with the N.C. Secretary of State’s Office show the $16,000 the group spent  on the rally included $9,154 renting vans and buses to bring children in from around the state and $3,460 on printing T-shirts for the crowd.

(To see a copy of the PEFNC’s lobbying expenses for the rally, click here.)

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The N.C. House Select Committee on Education Reform will meet at 1 p.m. this afternoon, moving their meeting away from the N.C. General Assembly building to the campus of Wake Technical Community College.

But just what they’ll be talking about is still a bit of a mystery this morning, just a few hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin.

No agendas have been released to the public, according to the office of N.C. Rep. Hugh Blackwell, the co-chair of the House committee.

Update: Since we put up this post at 10:30 a.m. this morning, the agenda to the meeting has been posted. Click here to see for yourself.  A hat tip to Terry Stoops at the conservative John Locke Foundation for pointing out that the agenda items were released a couple of hours before the public meeting. 

On the agenda are discussion about a deaf student’s Bill of Rights, a Florida Advanced Placement initiative, articulation issues in higher education, school air quality improvements and higher education tuition comparisons.

And that means no clues to the public about what this group of legislators will be discussing, and who they’ll be hearing from.

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