This is a friendly reminder to all that Roy Cooper hates School Choice.
ALL school choice.
Keep reading below the fold.
Roy Cooper has not minced words about his feelings about school choice. His position and continued lying about vouchers are there for all to see right on his campaign website.
“We need to make education a priority. Governor McCrory has prioritized huge tax giveaways to big corporations and those at the top while he cut teaching assistants and failed to provide the resources our children need and to pay our teachers what they deserve.”
(RoyCooper.com, Accessed 05-25-18)
I oppose vouchers that drain money from public schools. I support strong standards and openness for all schools, particularly charter schools. While some charters are strong, we see troubling trends, such as a re-segregation of the student population, or misuse of state funds without a way to make the wrongdoers reimburse taxpayers. We need to manage the number of charter schools to ensure we don’t damage public education and we need to better measure charter schools so we can utilize good ideas in all schools.
(RoyCooper.com, Accessed 05-25-18)
Parents across the state have also made their positions clear as evidenced by enrollment growth in charter schools, homeschooling, and applicants for opportunity scholarships.
Here’s a relevant headline: Enrollment rises at NC charter, private, home schools; traditional public schools see decline
Traditional public schools, which still educate the majority of students in North Carolina, saw enrollment fall by 5,562 students, down to 1,454,290, from 2016 to 2017.
Charter schools saw the greatest jump, with 11,437 new students in 2017, followed by home schools, with 9,579 new students, and private schools, with 2,864 more students in 2017, according to state data, which was first reported by The News & Observer.
Here’s another one: NC is a Leader in State Vouchers
Charlonda Brown, a single mother in Goldsboro, North Carolina, says she only wants for her boys what any parent wants: the best possible education.
With 4-year-old son Julian diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, leaving him with only one working arm, Brown already pays more than $700 out-of-pocket every two weeks for his physical therapy. Unhappy with local public school options, she’ll gladly accept state help toward paying for private school and services if it’s awarded to them next year.
North Carolina has three taxpayer-funded school-choice initiatives, all created by the Republican-controlled General Assembly since 2013, and Julian could benefit from all three. None of the money — up to $21,200 annually — would go to waste, his mom said.
“I’m just trying to level the playing field for him,” said Brown, whose 14-year-old son already gets a public tuition scholarship for low-income students.
Parents want choice. They are voting with their feet.
Cooper Hates Vouchers The Most
Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth:
“I am very concerned and have opposed vouchers because of the lack of accountability,” Cooper said at a breakfast with education leaders Jan. 25. “We really don’t know what these schools are doing or how they are performing. Instead, we need to invest in our public schools.” (N&O, 02-03-17)
That quote is taken from the Public Schools Forum annual ‘Eggs and Issues’ event. At no time did Public Schools Forum head Keith Poston correct the governor by telling him that vouchers have their own set of funding aside from education budget.
Fun fact: PolitifactNC, which is run and staffed by the News and Observer, rated Cooper’s statement above as ‘Half-True’, but his statement is proven totally false by the Politifact article. Gotta protect that ‘Coop-o-meter’ average, you know.
I was there at the 2017 Eggs and Issues event in-person listening to Ray practically sneer at parents who dare look for better than public schools for their kids. Another mom in the room also took issue with Cooper’s remarks and shared them with me.
The mom, who lives in Wake County and asked not to be identified, has two children enrolled in the Opportunity Scholarship Program. She said she considered Cooper’s remarks to be, “an insult to the thousands of low-income parents” like her who are taking advantage of the opportunity scholarship program.
She also said that “My children deserve every opportunity to be matched to a school that is the best fit for them. My husband and I are responsible for their education choices, not the state of North Carolina and we as parents hold our choice of school accountable every single day.”
Civitas did a nice takedown of Cooper’s voucher hate around that same time in 2017. Here are my favorite excerpts:
The governor’s distaste for vouchers runs deep. Remember that when Cooper was the attorney general he refused to ask the State Superior Court to overturn a Superior Court injunction stopping the program from moving forward.[ii]
In addition, in various campaign documents (see here and here) candidate Cooper said vouchers drain much-needed financial support for the public schools.
As governor, his budget priorities certainly reflect his views. Cooper’s budget recommendations reduced funding for the Opportunity Scholarship Program and the Governor’s Budget Office also said it “anticipates no new scholarships.”[iii]
“…we have Cooper presiding over a $13-billion-dollar system that has been failing too many kids, yet he is barking that voucher schools must be accountable.”
Cooper tried to sue to stop scholarships for low-income students
Cooper’s assault on low-income kids by trying to shut down the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) was nearly summarized by Carolina Journal this past February:
The action is one of several lawsuits filed by Cooper during his first 13 months in office.
Cooper cut all money for Opportunity Scholarships from his 2017 budget proposal.
The program robs public schools of money, and tax dollars shouldn’t go to private schools, Cooper said.
The General Assembly restored the funding.
Scholarships max out at an annual $4,200 per student.
More than 6,775 children are enrolled in the program.
(Carolina Journal, 02-08-18)
Parents for Educational Freedom in NC (PEFNC) responded to Cooper’s school choice thuggery and filed an amicus brief against Cooper in February 2018. Read the brief.
PEFNC’s brief is accompanied by PEFNC’s President’s affidavit, which torches Cooper’s claims using his own words. One of the key points in the suit starts on page 24; emphasis added:
“The Governor Fails to Account Properly for Opportunity Scholarships and Intends to Dismantle the Program”
“Funding of the Opportunity Scholarship Program is not a zero sum prospect. A student who qualifies for and makes use of an Opportunity Scholarship at a nonpublic school does not doubly incur costs and expenses at a public school.
Rather, the student’s “per pupil” money allocation is effectively directed and used to cover his or her Opportunity Scholarship. The Governor has consistently failed to recognize this important point and instead characterizes all of the forward funding as a pure cost and expense.“
“Despite the very practical reasons for the forward-funding legislation, regardless of which political party heads the executive branch, it appears the Governor here seeks to cloak his intentions to dismantle the Scholarship Program under the guise of a constitutional argument.
A sampling of press releases and interviews reveals that Governor Cooper has consistently expressed his distaste for the Scholarship Program, as well as his adamant desire to dismantle it.”
“ ‘Obviously there will be no voucher funding in any budget that I propose with the General Assembly,’ Cooper told The Associated Press before his Jan. 1 inauguration.“
It goes on. Read the whole thing.
Cooper’s attempt to sue low-income kids out of the schools of their choice backfired.
In April 2018, a Superior Court judge panel ruled that it was just fine for the General Assembly to require the Opportunity Scholarship money be included in Cooper’s budgeting process. So much for that. I’m sure he’ll try again.
Just remember: Roy Cooper wants to take school choice away from parents. Because the state knows what’s best for them.
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