North Carolina has an ongoing lawsuit over the General Assembly’s Opportunity Scholarships. The idea behind these scholarships is that the parents of children who meet a particular income threshold can apply for a grant or scholarship to spend at the school of their choice.
The suit that was launched by various people and groups in the state, which include the NCAE and the Left leaning NC Justice Center. According to the NC Justice Center page on this suit, these plaintiffs see supplying low-income children with scholarship money as part of the “growing alarm at the legislature’s attacks on public education.”
The thrust of the case is that public funds being used to fund these scholarships for low-income children violates the state’s constitution. The main complaint is tax dollars being used by parents to choose a private or charter school for their child instead of the money going to a public school. The unspoken question here seems to be, ‘why are these parents seeking these scholarships in the first place?’ Clearly, there’s an issue with the child’s current public school situation, but you likely won’t hear the plaintiffs address that.
The case has been elevated to the North Carolina Supreme Court after an appeal was filed when a lower court judge ruled against the scholarships. These scholarships are not out of the woods yet, nor is North Carolina the only state fighting for school choice.
In Florida, a similar suit has been going on but the Save Our Scholarships Coalition is fighting back. The coalition has an ongoing campaign on social media with the hashtag #DropTheSuit and in October put a video out. The video’s description is as follows:
“Former Florida Tax Credit Scholarship recipient and proud college graduate Denisha Merriweather shares her story about the scholarship’s importance to children from low-income, mainly minority families. She explains how a lawsuit filed by the teachers’ union and the Florida School Boards Association threatens to evict 68,000 children from their schools.”
This past month, a judge dealt a blow to those bringing the suit in Florida. The Daily Signal reported that the judge came in on the side of parents:
But there is some good news: Last week, Leon County Circuit Court Judge George S. Reynolds III granted parents of these children the right to interveneon behalf of their children’s scholarships, which are awarded through the corporate tuition tax credit scholarship program.
Related: NC Supreme Court Allows Opportunity Scholarship Fall 2015 Applications to Move Forward
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