State’s leading school choice advocacy organization applauds budget citing support for choice programs and school safety
Raleigh, NC (May 29, 2018) – Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) released the following statement regarding the 2018 Legislative Session Budget:
“As a statewide education advocacy organization, PEFNC supports improved educational outcomes through programs and priorities that have a direct impact on students and families in our state. We salute lawmakers in the General Assembly for designing a budget that prioritizes education across the board and aligns with what schools, students, and families need to succeed,” said Brian Jodice, Interim President of PEFNC.
“Once again, lawmakers are demonstrating our state’s commitment to provide educational resources to families with students with special needs with an additional $3 million to the Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grant. As the original private school scholarship program in our state, the Disabilities Scholarship has regularly seen hundreds on the waitlist. By providing an additional $3 million towards this critical program, upwards of 375 new families will have access to the educational resources (private school tuition or education-related services) they need to provide their child with special needs an exceptional education,” added Jodice.
PEFNC will continue to mobilize its network of parental school choice advocates, many who have expressed to the NCGA over the years a desire to expand choice programs in our state, specifically the Disabilities Grant. The program first passed in North Carolina in 2011 as a tax credit before being converted to a scholarship grant. Today, nearly 1,250 students receive this scholarship, worth up to $8,000 per year, with an additional 375 new scholarships now available based on this new level of funding.
Furthermore, PEFNC applauds the NCGA for taking steps to increase support for students with special needs who remain enrolled in a public school.
“Every child in North Carolina deserves an exceptional education—and our organization will continue working to ensure that’s the case for families choosing all educational options for their children,” added Jodice.
In addition to strengthening special needs education in North Carolina, the budget adjustments outlined by the General Assembly also increase funding for public education by nearly $700 million, provides $35 million for school safety initiatives, and maintains smaller class sizes in traditional public schools (among other things).
“Parents and families in North Carolina deserve access to the best educational choices in the nation. While there is always more work to be done, we applaud the General Assembly for taking steps to strengthen educational outcomes in our state by committing critical resources to education regardless of school model. North Carolina is a trendsetter on educational choice and improving education across the board only makes our state a stronger leader nationally,” concluded Jodice.