Buncombe Legislator Introduces Bill to Restore Public School Funding

NC’s program is currently ranked as the least accountable voucher program in the country.

NC Representative Lindsey Prather
NC Representative Lindsey Prather

In early May, NC Representative Lindsey Prather (D-Buncombe) responded to the Legislature’s passage of an increase in the state’s private school voucher program of up to $5 billion over the coming ten years.

Prather is the primary sponsor of a bill (H993) to limit and control vouchers that transfer funds from public education to private schools, which are unaccountable and frequently religiously based (though the NC Constitution specifically prohibits using tax money to support any religious institution).

“Today,” announced Prather, “I was proud to stand with Gov. Cooper and Democratic leadership to announce the introduction of H993 (OPS Moratorium/OPS & PESA Accountability Act), which would halt the expansion of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers. While NC House Republicans styled these vouchers as “Opportunity Scholarships,” they are nothing more than a handout of taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private institutions.”

Prather is a product of NC public schools and a former Buncombe County teacher. Recognizing both the constitutional prohibition and the 25-year-old Leandro decision that guarantees every North Carolina student “a public education that includes a quality teacher, a safe classroom, and the support they need to succeed,” she noted that Republicans in the General Assembly “are determined to take another $463 million away from public schools and give it to wealthy parents and unaccountable private schools.”

“This bill would also implement accountability measures for private schools that accept vouchers, as our state’s program is currently ranked as the least accountable voucher program in the country. As legislators, it is our constitutional obligation to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used properly, and that students are receiving the education they deserve.”

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