The number of North Carolina families taking advantage of the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program has reached a historic level with more than 8,300 students using scholarships as the 2017-2018 school year begins. According to Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) this number marks “a milestone of full subscription for the first time in Program history.”
“The overwhelming demand of the Opportunity Scholarship Program, in a short period, sends a clear message that families across our state continue to demand quality educational options for their children,” said Darrell Allison, Founding President of PEFNC.
The Opportunity Scholarship Program was created in 2013 and allows families with qualifying lower incomes to apply for educational scholarship grants of up to $4,200 per child, per year, to help cover the costs of sending their children to a participating non-public school. In recent years, the North Carolina General Assembly has made school choice, including the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a top educational priority. The budget passed this legislative session increased funding of the Opportunity Scholarship program to $44.8 million during the 2018-2019 school year and $54.8 million during the 2019-2020 school year.
“Today’s announcement,” said Allison “validates that our leaders were clearly listening to the demands of their citizens and we were fully confident that our low-income and working-class families, in search of an opportunity, would respond strongly.”