The Children’s Law Clinic at Duke Law studied North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship program and found it utterly wanting. If you want more accountability for the students in this program, read more and sign our petition.
Some key findings from the Duke study’s Executive Summary:
- Approximately 93% of the vouchers have been used to pay tuition at religious schools.
- Based on limited and early data, more than half the students using vouchers are performing below average on nationally-standardized reading, language, and math tests. In contrast, similar public school students in NC are scoring above the national average.
- Accountability measures for North Carolina private schools receiving vouchers are among the weakest in the country. The schools need not be accredited, adhere to state curricular or graduation standards, employ licensed teachers, or administer state End-of-Grade tests.
- The North Carolina voucher program is well designed to promote parental choice, especially for parents who prefer religious education for their children. It is poorly designed, however, to promote better academic outcomes for children and is unlikely to do so.
Please sign our petition asking for a moratorium on our voucher program until it includes accountability for families and transparency for taxpayers. It is unacceptable for tax dollars to support any program about which this can be said:
The design of North Carolina’s program – as well as the way it has been used to date – is more suited to goals that do not relate to academic outcomes for children. The two most successful aspects of the program are that it allows for unfettered choice for participating parents regarding the schools their children will attend and that it provides state support for religious education. The program has no checks to protect children from the choices of their parents, which could include the choice to send a child to a fringe school that does virtually nothing to prepare a child for active participation in our democratic society after graduation, or may even undermine such participation. While surely most parents will not choose such an outcome, that such an outcome is supported by taxpayer resources is profoundly problematic.