Legislative leaders say they will fight for vouchers
04/11/2014 5:40 PM
08/05/2014 6:51 PM
House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger say they will ask the state Supreme Court to remove a freeze on the state voucher program so parents can use the $10 million the legislature set aside for private school tuition this fall.
A Superior Court judge froze the program in February while lawsuits seeking to stop the plan proceed. The N.C. Appeals Court denied an appeal from parents to lift the injunction.
Anna Roberts, a spokeswoman for Tillis, said the legislative leaders are still reviewing their legal options. “The goal is to do everything we can to make sure the program is going to be able to move forward in the fall,” she said.
The vouchers, called “opportunity scholarships,” will provide up to $4,200 a year in taxpayer money to cover private school tuition for about 2,400 students.
The N.C. School Boards Association and residents backed by the N.C. Justice Center and the N.C. Association of Educators are suing to stop the vouchers, claiming that they violate the state constitution.
Tillis and Berger said in their statement that a ruling that vouchers are unconstitutional would call into question state funding for N.C. Pre-K, Smart Start, and state scholarships for college students who attend private universities, among other education programs.
“We are taking action to make sure these unintended and far-reaching consequences don't become reality,” Tillis said in a statement.
Join the Discussion
News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.