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A Great Leap Forward For North Carolina’s Children

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Statewide School Voucher and Tenure Reform
Likely to Give State a Boost on National Report Card

CER Press Release
Washington, DC
July 22, 2013

The Center for Education Reform (CER), the nation’s leading advocate for lasting, substantive and structural school reform, today called the positive movement on a statewide school-choice voucher program a “great leap forward for North Carolina families,” as it will help to ensure access to more and better educational options for low-income Tar Heel State students.

The North Carolina Legislature reached an agreement last night on the state budget, which includes offering a $4,200 scholarship for low-income families to choose a school that is the best fit for their children. The budget also addresses teacher tenure by eliminating tenure for new teachers and sets up a modest performance pay bonus system. A $6,000 scholarship for children with disabilities is also expected to pass this week.

“Parents in North Carolina have been clamoring for more power over their children’s education,” said Kara Kerwin, vice president of external affairs at The Center for Education Reform. “We applaud the bipartisan leadership in the state legislature that answered their call.”

North Carolina currently ranks 21st in the nation on the Parent Power Index©, which measures the ability in each state of a parent to exercise choices – no matter what their income or child’s level of academic achievement – engage with their local school and board, and have a voice in the systems that surround their child.

“States where parents have options to choose tend to yield higher growth rates in student achievement,” said Kerwin. “North Carolina’s work on school choice and teacher quality issues are a real boost for parents and students, but much more work is needed to expand choice so every child has access to better options.”