Parents seeking scholarships for their children to attend private schools in North Carolina next year have the opportunity to apply for the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program throughout February. The application period for new and renewal applications for the 2015-16 school year is now open through March 1, according to the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA). As we previously reported in December 2014, the North Carolina Supreme Court granted the NCSEAA the authority to “proceed with all preliminary administrative steps necessary to prepare for the 2015-16 academic year,” while the court considers two lawsuits challenging the Opportunity Scholarship Program. The NCSEAA notes that while it “has been authorized to prepare for the 2015-16 school year,” it “cannot disperse funds without further order of the Court.”
According to Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), the fact that the state’s highest court is allowing the scholarship program, along with applications for next year, to proceed is a good sign. “New and returning families should feel as optimistic as we do about the future of the Opportunity Scholarship Program for this upcoming school year and beyond,” Darrell Allison, PEFNC president, said in a statement. “The Supreme Court has already showed strong signs by allowing existing scholarship recipients to continue on the scholarship this year as well as allowing NCSEAA to proceed with accepting applications for the 2015-16 school year.”
Last year, the first year of the Opportunity Scholarship Program in North Carolina, more than 5,500 applications were received for scholarship funds, and nearly 2,000 lower income children received scholarships of up to $4,200 per child to pay for tuition and fees at participating private schools.
For more information about the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program and to apply or renew an application by March 1, parents can to to the NCSEAA website at: http://ncseaa.edu/OSG.htm.