Raleigh, NC — Brian Jodice, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina’s Vice President of Communications and Outreach, released this statement following the North Carolina General Assembly’s vote to override Governor Cooper’s budget veto:
“As a statewide education advocacy organization, PEFNC applauds legislators for their ongoing commitment to funding educational choice, and to ensure more of our state’s families have access to the educational options they desperately need. By overriding Governor Cooper’s budget veto, lawmakers have doubled down on their support of funding expansion for the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income families. Multi-year expansion of the popular Opportunity Scholarship Program is set at $44.8 million for 10,700 scholarships during the 2018-2019 school year and $54.8 million for 13,100 scholarships during the 2019-2020 school year. This year alone, North Carolinians are applying for Opportunity Scholarships at record pace, as families have submitted nearly 10,000 applications since February.
Lawmakers have also moved to preserve and safeguard North Carolina’s new and historic Personal Education Savings Account, established for the first time in this budget. This measure is North Carolina’s third state-funded school choice program since 2011. The Personal Education Savings Account, funded at $3,450,000, will expand support for special needs families in our state. The Special Needs ESA would provide up to $9,000 a year to offset the cost of educational expenses for families with exceptional children.
With their vote to override the governor’s veto, North Carolina lawmakers continue to solidify our state’s status as a national leader in providing highly impactful and innovative educational options for children and families. Despite the governor’s opposition, the General Assembly is demonstrating our state’s ongoing commitment to initiatives and programs that contribute to improved educational outcomes for students.”