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Statement from The Center for Education Reform on North Carolina Supreme Court’s Ruling Opportunity Scholarships Constitutional

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News Release
Washington, D.C.
July 23, 2015

Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform (CER), issued the following statement on the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling today upholding the constitutionality of the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program:

“This court ruling is a major win for parents and students in North Carolina and across the nation, affirming that parents should ultimately have power over decisions about how their children are educated, regardless of their race or zip code.

“With more than double the applications for scholarships in the first year of the program – approximately 5,500 applications for 2,400 scholarships – parents are making it abundantly clear that they want and demand more power over their children’s education. While there is still much work to be done to ensure all parents have the ability to choose the best education for their child, as North Carolina earns a 72.5 percent on CER’s Parent Power Index, this is a giant step in the right direction for parent empowerment in North Carolina.”

BACKGROUND: The legal challenge to the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program began in 2014, filed by the North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina School Boards Association, with many school boards also joining the challenge to the program’s constitutionality. The Opportunity Scholarship Program was passed in July 2013, with scholarship availability in the amount of up to $4,200 for the 2014-15 school year for students meeting income thresholds.