Statement by Schott Foundation for Public Education on School Vouchers for the Wealthy Legislation in North Carolina

North Carolina State Capitol Bldg

Friday, May 26, 2023
Contact: Melissa Daar Carvajal

Legislators in North Carolina are proposing extreme legislation to greatly expand its school voucher program at the expense of working-class parents’ public school students. This voucher plan would increase eligibility from low-income families to everyone, including the wealthy and those already sending their children to private schools. Millions of taxpayer dollars will be removed from the public system causing hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to public schools.

The Schott Foundation for Public Education and our partners object to such regressive and destructive legislation. To protect public education for working class children and families, OTL Network and HEAL NC members like Education Justice Alliance (EJA), Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED), and We Are Down Home — students, educators and parents from all backgrounds — are uniting throughout the state.

“North Carolina’s public schools must have the resources to serve all children: from Charlotte to Raleigh, from Shallotte to Ronda,” said Dr. John H. Jackson, Schott Foundation President & CEO. “Yet, extremist legislators are pushing to move millions of taxpayer dollars out of the public schools to pay for wealthy students to attend private schools. They are choosing vouchers for wealthy students over increasing lagging wages for teachers. These brutal cuts to public schools in districts across the state — $200 million in fact — affect class sizes, school counselors, transportation as well as arts and sports programs for the very schools that educate the majority of North Carolina’s students.”

Shifting resources from the public schools is only the start for many of these extreme legislators. As we have seen, similar efforts in states like Florida lead to legislation to limit the teaching of history as well as suppress civic and voting participation. North Carolina students, educators and business partners decided years ago that they are far beyond the cultural wars being waged and fought in Florida.

The moment calls for philanthropic partners and donors to step forward and support the advocates, organizations and educators working to stop destructive legislation and create an excellent public education system that serves all of North Carolina’s children.