Darrell Allison: Lifesaving legislation

April 27, 2013 

Lifesaving legislation

In response to the April 18 Point of View article “Why school vouchers are wrong for N.C.”: The piece assumes that a $4,200 opportunity scholarship cannot cover private school tuition. When excluding the top 10 percent of highest-priced schools, the average tuition is just $4,901, which better reflects the tuition for most North Carolina private schools.

House Bill 944 is not meant to privatize public education – as the op-ed suggests – but to provide students with the ability to attend schools that meet their educational needs. With 1.5 million students in our public schools, our traditional school system will continue to be the main education vehicle for students.

The primary sponsors of HB 944 – Democrats and Republicans – understand that we want public schools to have all the resources they need, but that not every school can meet the needs of every student. In Wake County, within the past five years only 45 percent of low-income students passed EOGs.

The piece also says opportunity scholarships are unconstitutional, but a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision established their constitutionality.

We must strengthen our traditional public schools, but HB 944 is a lifesaver to the more than 360,000 low-income students who failed EOGs last year, drowning in academic failure with no other educational option.

Darrell Allison

Wake Forest

The writer is president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.

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