To the Editor:
Recently, I became curious about the N.C. Opportunity Scholarships (a new name for vouchers) that are being billed as a way for families in poverty to have more choices for their child’s education by allowing them to choose private schools.
I am perplexed as to how these vouchers of $4,200 a year could possibly benefit families that are truly low-income. Most private schools charge between $18,000 to $20,000 a year. In addition, the private schools do not provide transportation, a serious barrier for most low-income families. Likewise, the private schools charge large fees for after-school care and do not provide subsidized lunches.
These Opportunity Scholarships are really designed for the middle class that have the resources to bridge the gap between the $4,200 voucher and the true costs of a private school education. In 2015, the vouchers will be available to middle-income families.
Opportunity Scholarships would not really make a private school education any more accessible for children from low-resource families. The claim that these vouchers are designed to benefit children in poverty just doesn’t make sense. Maybe Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, can explain this.