September 21, 2020

Roy Cooper continues his full-bore assault on low-income North Carolina families who choose schools that best fit their children’s educational needs.

At an event run by the Public School Forum, Governor Cooper described the Opportunity Scholarship program created to provide families with monetary scholarships to be able to attend a private school of their choice as “wrong” and that it “needs to stop.” (Senate Republicans Press, 9/18/20)

It’s hard to understand why Governor Cooper continues to batter this program.  Polls show that Opportunity Scholarships find broad support across the board and are supported by around 70% of North Carolina voters.

The only answer is that when the Governor’s top political ally – the NCAE teachers union – call the tune, the Governor starts a cackling.

This time he backed up his attempt to eliminate funding for Opportunity Scholarships in the latest NC General Assembly session by saying, “School vouchers are wrong. They hurt public schools. They hurt students…. It is a wrong use of tax dollars and it needs to stop.”

That’s a really harsh statement when you consider some of the facts about the Opportunity Scholarship program released by the NC Senate last week, showing that:

“For the 2020–21 school year, at least 11,259 children are set to receive Opportunity Scholarship funding. The program serves more Black students than traditional public schools do. The number of low- and middle-income children receiving Opportunity Scholarships has increased 926% since 2014.” (Senate Republicans Press, 9/18/20)

The NCAE teachers union must have a terribly tight grip on the Governor for him to say something that tough about a program that represents something good going on for a lot of North Carolina’s children.

But that’s what union bosses do. They squeeze.  And right now they’ve got their claws all in the Governor.

We shouldn’t be surprised. A News & Observer article in April, 2020 stated that the two new leaders of the NCAE – who cut their teeth leading protests in Raleigh in 2018 and 2019 – “want to organize NCAE more as a union.”

It’s sounding more and more like the union’s growing, and the children are being left behind.