Lawmakers in North Carolina will spend the next several months shaping the state’s budget for the next two years. And one early priority Gov. Roy Cooper has stated is the end of the voucher program that gives taxpayer money to private schools.
“I am very concerned and have opposed vouchers because of the lack of accountability,” Cooper said at a breakfast with education leaders Jan. 25. “We really don’t know what these schools are doing or how they are performing. Instead, we need to invest in our public schools.”
Given the sharp public divide on school-choice issues like vouchers – they’re opposed by many public-school groups but are favored by Republican politicians, who are in charge of writing North Carolina’s budget – PolitiFact NC looked into Cooper’s claim to see if he had a point or was being misleading, perhaps to score political points with his base.
As it turns out, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Cooper earned a “Half True” for his claim, which PolitiFact defines as “partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.”
For more on what education experts – and state laws – say about the voucher program’s accountability and transparency, read the full fact-check here.
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PolitiFact North Carolina
Speaker: Gov. Roy Cooper
Statement: Says North Carolina gives taxpayer dollars to private schools, but “we really don’t know what these schools are doing or how they are performing.”
Ruling: That’s not entirely accurate. There are some accountability measures for voucher recipients. However, Cooper has a point in that those requirements often either apply to only a few schools or are less strict than public school accountability. We rate this claim Half True.