Ask your legislators for A MORATORIUM ON VOUCHERS!! Let them know we want schools paid with our tax dollars to be accountable for educating kids and we want transparency in how our tax dollars are spent!
North Carolina is scheduled to spend $33 million on our voucher program this year. Those tax dollars will be spent on tuition for unaccountable private (mostly religious schools) for students who may – or may not – receive a fair and equitable education. But just this week, an employee of the largest voucher fund recipient, Fayetteville’s Trinity Christian School, was arrested for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for the NC Department of Revenue. This school has received almost $1,000,000 taxpayer dollars through the Opportunity Scholarship program. This is an egregious use of public money in an unaccountable system that lacks transparency.
Rather than adding accountability to this system, last year’s budget included a provision to increase the Opportunity Scholarship program by 2,000 students and $10 million every year from 2017-2018 until 2027-2028 when it will be $134,840,000 per year. What’s more, the funds will be placed in a reserve, meaning that unused money cannot revert to the General Fund. This expansion’s actual budget impact is predicted to be $172 Million over the next five years. This is a clear attempt to starve our public schools in order to benefit private and religious institutions that are unaccountable for the money they spend, the people they hire, the treatment of students, and the education they provide.
Tell your legislators you do not support continuing this unaccountable use of tax dollars on the voucher program until this program has more accountability and transparency in place to protect our students. Let them know that you support a strong system of free public schools that provide all children with a good education, under the transparent guidance of locally elected leaders. Please sign our petition and help us keep public money in public schools.