National School Choice Week will take place next week, from January 23–29. Started in 2011, National School Choice Week is “the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in education,” according to the NSCW website. While there is not a formal national event, hundreds of schools will take this opportunity to celebrate choice in education in a variety of ways.
In a surprising twist, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a proclamation last week affirming school choice and designating January 23–29, 2022 as North Carolina School Choice Week. Governor Cooper has long been an opponent of school choice, so his statement that “North Carolina is home to a multitude of high-quality public and nonpublic schools from which parents can choose for their children, in addition to families who educate their children in the home” came as a bit of a surprise to school choice advocates. The Governor’s proclamation went on to state that, “educational variety not only helps to diversify our economy, but also enhances the vibrancy of our community.”
Historically, Governor Cooper has opposed North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, which now offers up to $5,900 per year to help lower income families pay for tuition to a private school. In fact, Governor Cooper has continually called for a phase-out of the Opportunity Scholarship program in his proposed annual budgets. “For years, Governor Cooper has been one of North Carolina’s most outspoken opponents of private school scholarships for low-income children,” responded John Locke Foundation’s Dr. Terry Stoops.
The National School Choice Week website includes a plethora of resources for parents, educators, and organizations to support and promote school choice, especially next week. There is even a featured resource for North Carolina parents who are trying to determine the educational options available to them, featuring a school finder and links to information on North Carolina’s various scholarship programs.
Be sure to tune into NSCW’s live virtual kickoff on January 24 at 1pm ET! You can register for this kickoff on their website.