Mailer lures parents to voucher program

11/05/2013 4:38 PM

11/05/2013 4:38 PM

Triangle families are finding a different kind of ad in their mailbox along with election season mailers.

Cards with pictures of smiling blond children point parents to a website to see if they qualify for “Opportunity Scholarships,” which provide taxpayer dollars for private school tuition.

The personalized mailers address the recipient by first name, adding, “our state now provides money for private school. Now YOU have a choice!”

Cards include a website that include the recipient’s name, along with a QR code to scan for information about the vouchers. A red ribbon across the corner says, “ACT NOW.” The scholarships give parents of economically disadvantaged children up to $4,200 for a year of private school. Earlier this year, the legislature funded the program with $10 million for 2014-15.

Households of four earning less than $43,568 would qualify, according to the mailer, and a household of two earning below $28,694 would be eligible.

The mailers are paid for by Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, a school choice group. Darrell Allison, president, declined to disclose how many cards went out or how much the group paid for the marketing campaign. He said the goal is to give parents accurate information about “quality” school choice.

“The only way we get there is to make sure families are aware of and are informed about their options,” Allison wrote in an email. “That’s what this mailer does.”

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