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School voucher program on hold for N.C. Supreme Court

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by Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press
Wilmington Star-News
June 13, 2015

A state program that uses taxpayer money to pay student tuition at private and religious schools is headed for uncertainty for the second straight year as North Carolina judge grapple with whether it’s constitutional.

The latest batch of rulings by the N.C. Supreme Court last week didn’t include its decision on whether the Opportunity Scholarships program can continue. The court isn’t scheduled to issue opinions again until late August, about the time classes resume for the new academic year.

Though the Supreme Court could announce a decision in the voucher case before then, parents such as KC Cooper of Statesville are facing weeks of wondering whether a ruling could mean pulling their child out of school after classes start. It looked like that was possible last August, when a trial judge ruled the program an unconstitutional use of state money. Appeals court judges stepped in weeks later and allowed the money to flow for the year.

“This uncertainty, it’s something that I don’t want to give energy to. I want to keep the faith and believe that it will push through just like last year,” said Cooper, 42, who used the voucher program to enroll her special-needs 7th-grader in a Christian school last fall.

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