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North Carolina A National Leader In School Choice

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2018 2:36 pm

North Carolina A National Leader In School Choice

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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February 19, 2018 2:36 pm

This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family President John L. Rustin speaks with Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Education Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), a statewide organization that seeks and supports greater educational opportunities for parents and students through school choice. They discuss the recent expansion of school choice in North Carolina.

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Here a lot of 3.1.3 separate property school choice programs 2011. This is family policy not with NC family Pres. John Weston thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters each year in North Carolina. More and more families are taking advantage of the variety of educational options.

We enjoy from traditional public schools to public charter schools to private and parochial schools to home schools. In fact, North Carolina has become a national leader in the arena of school choice. Our guest today is Darrell Allison, president of Paris for educational freedom in North Carolina a statewide organization that seeks and supports greater educational opportunities for parents and students through school choice Dell welcome to family policy matter to try to have you back on the show… Well thank you Darrell Darrell in the last 20 years. North Carolina has really made tremendous strides in providing more educational options for parents and students not just with respect to the forms of schooling that we have, but also with respect to educational funding opportunities that help to empower parents to make the best educational choices for their children. Talk briefly if you would about the history of school choice in North Carolina from say the the 1980s to today. I think it's gone beyond saying approximate sources to read begin… That slots they probably love the tip of the things that were doing so much really provide purpose driven choice model of mine, you will that we do not operate from the standpoint of school choice was short space and no we had that we've advocated program that really reflect at that dish it but you know let's go back a quick quick trip back to two 2011 John the Baptist one where we eliminated capital public charter school today we have a 2000 students that are educated hundred and 73 public charter schools across our state. Additional 55,000 students on waiting list into 2011 John we talked about nearly 75% growth in our public charter school passport here North Carolina. We prayed out one, not two but three separate private school choice program since 2011 the opportunity scholarship program was to date have seen over 35,000 applicants this coming fall that will have over 10,000 kids that will be enrolled in private schools due to the opportunity scholarship program, first private school choice that it was in 2011 and that was with the children with disabilities, scholarship, grant, and today we have 11,000 students benefiting from that scholarship. But yet today we still have 500 on the waiting list. And lastly really proud about this one last year we ushered in the special needs education savings account for about $3 million in support… Became a fixed date nationally about the Path and ESA if you will. John was remarkable. The application process open for the special ESA February 1 and we have roughly 300 slots that you feel the Philip dollars and we have over 250 applicants so far today, more than hundred thousand students are educated in private school across the state and in large part thanks to the scholarship without 12,000+ that car you let these scholarships to be able to be in that number, about 2000, and it felt like capital John, there's a growth from North, family know that could educate the children home schools over getting here 230,000. They are so you add all these numbers up in terms of families in our states using nontraditional paths to educated children were at 330,000 now. There may be some listeners who are not that familiar with North Carolinas opportunity scholarship programs but talk a little bit about that the opportunity scholarship program from the standpoint of how it is benefiting not just families in our state, but also education overall across North Carolina and get all would look at this is that is programmed to be in a compliment, and so a little bit more about the program as a budget were 29. The latest data available from the State education assistance Authority we have in utilization 7557 scholarship scholarships have made directly to schools twice a year to the following to display this about $20.2 million that's been expanded to about 405 private school on behalf of those utilizing the program. It was really exciting. This upcoming fall were already starting the application process as of February 1.

Genesis was pretty remarkable. Each year I will have about 2400 new scholarships made available to families up until the year 2026, 27, but in the first week the law February 1 the first week we have five permit limit of 2400 scholarships we had over 2500 application. This is what I think it speaks pretty remarkably look at the number that I think that we get it right on the mark here and I think the families are responding honestly and insignificant numbers that that doubt this is a program that that really resonates with your listening to me so I spent to listen to my radio show online resources have a place of persuasion in your community website electing.

How do you in light of that how you respond to people who say that public charter schools and state-sponsored scholarship programs like opportunity scholarship program. Her traditional public schools because they take students away from traditional public schools and also that they may divert funding. Yeah, I heard this argument,, Gannett not like the faint sound that just because someone says a lot that it made on the biggest proponent of this about schools. I would educated in North Platte public schools my entire life from grade K knowledge to grad school today but Gartner's are educated at public school system, but that doesn't mean it must be one or the other cannot keep her in school choice as a compliment.

As I mentioned earlier to the truth about school bottom today we have nearly 1.5 million children are educated about school and rightfully that drug education funding should be focused but but where we can appreciate the $1.5 million number don't think back to the 330,000 I gave you about the kids that are educated outside of the system. That's not only in number two was received this number being 330,000 individual stories, unique reasons as to why they saw that alternative education model we're saying where there opportunity for families to look elsewhere. Public charter school private school homeschool adoption. Won't those be on the table as well. Why, because we truly believe that where we have more quality option for families, the better the chances that family will find the right education for for that solid ethic we have the proper balance job in place and and I'm really appreciative as to how we have proceeded how we followed that as a result, it's not really in a conversation that the Gen. assembly last session approved the use of educational savings accounts which are designed to help parents of qualifying disabled students cover the cost of education -related expenses. Tell us a little bit about that if you want yet it's program we became that the sick stated that in our nation to pass an education savings account and John up with you all. Not too long ago that talked about, you know, I think one of the fascinating, litigation schools figure really it really does open up meeting you here for families to to to be able to utilize the best of both worlds. Some friends that you notice a lot of one of the highlights of that that the special needs education since the counter getting for families with children with disabilities if you will, significant disability that is for a lot of apparent necessary silly have to leave one system over the other. A lot of cases generally talk about, measures that have been implemented to state that the parent has a child if they think. I believe the public school system and going to a private school system that the majority of about where programs on ESA as well.

But with this program, we open up to where a family you have a family special needs and they are getting most of the majority of their needs met in a true suppose consistent and but there they are missing it here baby needs tutorial work of therapeutic work. If you will that system cannot provide that wealth and especially gave a program that where you have a private school that that's a special needs focused and you need that tour you need at therapy bear, you can still remain in the public school system be utilized expressionistic state assistance grant… Thousand dollars to be able to also be a part-time student. In private school so you get the best of both worlds here in the other great thing excited about Dr. Stephanie's ESA.

We talked about the opportunity scholarship programs on Aptech $4200.

We talked about the special-needs children with disability claim to be passed in 2011 at $8000, especially ESA is $9000. With this program were allowed to do with them on a particular for low income working-class families which children most significant disability they will be able to stack all of those measures up the 40 280,000 9000 if it takes that there have over $21,000 to be able to utilize to try to find that deaf education is can help. That's how tickly the child with the most significant disabilities and so again we got a lot to be proud about these all three distinct programs but we like. We like the fact that family if they are eligible can apply it up to receiving all three. You also mentioned that this is the time of the year and in February when schools and parents are beginning to make decisions about the next school year.

Especially when it comes to opportunity scholarships are the application deadlines that parents need to know about and where can I go to get more information about all the matters that we been discussing today with great pointing.

John Maxwell is no free program so the opportunity scholarship program that application, open up that session open up February 1 as well as a special needs ESA, which we just talked about both programs will likely programs open up the good work person.

So we always encourage listeners if you're interested in school towards North Carolina.com all one word school which was not a lot of.co with and get familiar with it and then take action is nothing wrong with applying their in a few months from now until disability grant application. I will will open up they first got so again a lot Exciting things happening and I'm just so happy for us to get full complement for family great. Thank you for sharing that and I it's been a real pleasure to have you on family policy matters.

Today, partly because it was recently announced that you actually will be leaving parents for educational Freedom in North Carolina to pursue a new and exciting opportunity. I as we are in our conversation today tells about that well lifted the project on the founding president of parents for educational Freedom and taught our way back July 5, 2005 to be exact, and back then we were deluded today could and we were deluded to think that without seeking without supporting strong and no really make an impact and lots of families in Estes, rewarding himself believe this is working good hands. We got a good team here to steal much much love that needs to happen thought, really excited about that goes with that. That I will be step into a new role with American Federation for children's nationalization and that you – and director for state teams of political strategy, hopeful John. That will take a little bit about what we been able to do it North Carolina. I will be able to apply that expanded substate start program to devastate a very, very honored public body opportunity to do up there all I wanted just to say once again how much we have valued and appreciated the partnership but also are excited about this new opportunity that you have and know that you just can do an incredible job and are glad that were not saying goodbye. We will just be working in a little bit of a different capacity with you now look forward to seeing what you will be doing if you take that family policy matters production only to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website see family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook


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