vouchers

Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

The number of private school vouchers North Carolina offers could rapidly increase, if senate leaders get their way. They want to grow the program by $120 million over the next twelve years. 

Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina House want to significantly expand the state’s voucher program for private schools. That’s according to House Speaker Pro-Tem Paul Stam. 

Lawmakers set aside about $10 million in private school tuition this year, but Stam says they’d like to increase that to $40 million to serve more students. 

"The target would be as many as apply, which is currently about 5,000. We hope to get up to 8,000 or 9,000," says Stam. 

Giant Sloth / Flickr

North Carolina state government has paid about $4 million in private school tuition this year. It’s part of the Opportunity Scholarship program, which has paid up to $4,200 to mostly religious schools on behalf of 1,200 low-income students.

News Director Greg Collard, education reporter Lisa Miller and Money & Influence reporter Tom Bullock discuss a Wake County judge's ruling against North Carolina's publicly-funded private school voucher program. They also discuss the idea of paying for garbage collection with a per-bag system, and the continuing debate over I-77 toll lanes. In a related matter, Greg reads his frustrating email exchange with a North Carolina Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Plus, Lisa and Tom give previews of upcoming series on the cost of higher education and North Carolina's investment strategy for its pension system.

Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

A judge has ordered the permanent halt of a program designed to give low-income families taxpayer money to pay for tuition at private schools. Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood cited several examples in ruling that the law is unconstitutional. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller reported on the case during All Things Considered. Here's her conversation with host Mark Rumsey.


Flickr/Seth Sawyers / http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/4267034867/sizes/l/

A couple thousand students in North Carolina could attend private school next year with the help of public money.  The state announced the winners of the Opportunity Scholarship lottery this week. 

alamosbasement / Flickr

North Carolina laws are changing, from what you need to vote, to which clinics can provide abortions, to how teachers keep their jobs. The General Assembly passed many of the new laws last week at the very end of the legislative session. So every day this week, WFAE is examining some of the major changes. We've covered gun legislation and abortion regulations so far. This morning we focus on education.

There were a lot of new education changes that passed either in bills or through the budget. That includes getting rid of teacher tenure and including money for vouchers for kids to attend private schools. But some of those changes shouldn't be a surprise.