Vouching for vouchers

Another day, another giant backward step for the future of North Carolina. This morning we got the conformation of what we’ve been expecting to see for months now – North Carolina will be the latest state to consider school vouchers.

In an “exclusive interview” with the John Locke Foundation, Paul Stam laid out his $90 million plan to bleed our public schools of money while enriching corporations, all at the expense of our children.  And his reasoning for this program? Why, to save money, of course.

It now costs state and local governments $6,745 to educate a typical child in public school, and $8,414 when including federal allocations, according to Stam. The average opportunity scholarship is expected to be $3,990, according to a fiscal analysis memorandum by the legislative Fiscal Research Division.

Keep in mind that North Carolina is already near the bottom (two from the bottom, actually) of what we spend on a per-pupil basis. Stam’s proposal would further reduce our spending by more than $17 million for the 2013-2014 school year, and more than $25 million in the next school year, according to the fiscal analysis. 

The total bill for this plan will be in excess of $90 million dollars over the next two years, all in public money Rep. Stam wants to give to private schools. These schools can be religious schools or they can be for-profit schools – it doesn’t matter to Stam. He just wants to spend as little money as possible on education.

Is this really how we want North Carolina to be known throughout the country? As the state which views educating the next generation as a burden, rather than a sacred duty? Shouldn’t we be looking at public education as an investment, rather than an expense?

All of these questions will be asked in the coming days when the bill is actually filed, but based on what we’ve seen so far from this General Assembly, it is pretty clear that they are willing to sell-out our children’s future for next to nothing.

If you’re interested in keeping up to date on so-called education “reforms” in North Carolina, join our Keep Our Kids First campaign and we’ll be in touch.

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