Important Education Reform Considered in North Carolina
(Washington, D.C.) – The North Carolina House of Representatives has approved a budget that is fiscally responsible, with lower spending and tax levels than the outline submitted by the Governor. It includes a provision – also approved in the Senate – to increase funding for the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Grant program, which benefited more than 5,000 students last year. The House budget however, does not include a provision for the creation of a Personal Education Savings Account (PESA) program. These accounts would be available to disabled students, children in foster care, and children of active duty personnel. PESA dollars could be used for school books, tutoring, educational therapies, transportation costs, and for tuition and fees at private and parochial schools. They could also be used to pay for the cost of standardized achievement tests, such as the SAT or ACT.
Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“North Carolina has the opportunity to advance educational opportunity and help kids to achieve the American Dream, by creating Personal Education Savings Accounts. The North Carolina Senate has approved this important initiative, and it should be included in the final compromise budget blueprint that both chambers will have to approve.
Hispanic families in North Carolina will be among the beneficiaries, as Hispanic children are disproportionately stuck in substandard or failing schools. In combination with expanded Opportunity Scholarship Grants, this program would give them the opportunity to access better schools, and it would enable families across the state to match their kids with the educational program that suits them best. We encourage legislative leaders to move it swiftly for approval.”