Support North Carolina

Opportunity Scholarships


It’s a simple idea.

North Carolina parents should be able to choose the best school for their child regardless of income or zip code.

The Opportunity Scholarship measure included in the state budget (Senate Bill 402) will help low-income and working class parents whose children are trapped in schools that are not working for them and will enable them to send their children to a school of their choice.

Large achievement gaps exist between minority students and their peers, which stands at 29.9 percent for African American students and 24.2 percent for Hispanic students statewide.

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Why?

Hundreds of thousands of students failed state tests last year, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Large achievement gaps exist between minority students and their peers, which stands at 29.9 percent for African American students and 24.2 percent for Hispanic students statewide.

Overall Passage Rates on End of Grade Tests

Economically Advantaged Students84.1%
Economically Disadvantaged Students54.2%
Achievement Gap
29.9%

Hispanic Passage Rates on End of Grade Tests

White Students79.3%
Hispanic Students55.1%
Achievement Gap
24.2%

African American passage rates on end of grade tests

White Students79.3%
African American Students49.4%
Achievement Gap
29.9%

What?

Sixteen states plus Washington, D.C. currently have opportunity scholarship programs and they have been a huge success. The results prove it:

Florida

  • Florida has provided scholarships to over 271,000 students since 2001.
  • Independent studies have found that their choice program has not only improved test scores for scholarship students, but also for children remaining in public schools.
  • Florida was once at the bottom nationwide in educating low-income children. Now they're among the best in the nation thanks, in part, to their choice program -- Florida had the second largest improvement in NAEP test scores nationwide over a 19-year period (1992-2011).

Milwaukee

  • The Milwaukee Scholarship Program, the country’s oldest opportunity scholarship program, served 24,027 students in the 2012-2013 school year and 237,000 students since 1990.
  • Milwaukee scholarship students are outperforming their public school peers in nearly every academic category.
  • Milwaukee scholarship students are more likely to finish high school and remain in college than their public school peers.
  • The Milwaukee program saved the state more than half of what it would have cost to educate a student in a traditional school setting.

Washington D.C.

  • Since 2004, over 13,700 students have received scholarships through Washington, D.C.'s program.
  • In Washington, D.C., which has the highest per-student spending in the country yet ranks among the lowest in student performance, opportunity scholarship students graduate at a 91 percent rate -- 21 points higher than children in D.C. public schools.
  • Not only have 91 percent of scholarship students graduated from high school, 89 percent of those students are enrolling in college.

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