Source: The News & Observer
North Carolina Republicans are pushing forth two bills that would divert millions of taxpayer dollars away from chronically underfunded public schools and into private schools.
Both Senate Bill 406 and House Bill 823, will use taxpayer money to bolster up state-Republican-led Opportunity Scholarships, which would benefit the wealthy and those already enrolled in private schools while neglecting millions of students across the state.
Senate Bill 406 would divert over $2.2 billion of taxpayer money for private school vouchers over the next 10 years.
“They have prioritized tax cuts for corporations and wealthy North Carolinians over funding working families’ education,” stated Sen. Rachel Hunt, in a news conference. “They have shown us who they are and what they value.”
While state Republicans are attempting to implement their controversial private school voucher program, state Democrats and advocates are calling out the egregious move, calling the GOP, “anti-public education, anti-teacher and anti-student”.
On top of diverting millions of dollars from public schools, state Republicans have released budget proposals that feature measly teacher pay raises, include no educator or state employee bonuses, and fail to invest in The Leandro Plan.
“Rather than divert millions of our tax dollars to unaccountable private and often discriminatory schools, the General Assembly should address the unmet needs of the public schools (mostly rural) across North Carolina, as documented in the long-standing Leandro case,” wrote Charles R. Coble, a former vice president for the UNC System and Dean of the School of Education at East Carolina University, in a recent editorial.
“The ideology driving these twin bills is intended to degrade public education. They shift the scales of responsibility from doing what is best for the common good of the people of North Carolina to a self-serving “what’s in it for me” — at taxpayer expense.”