North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds State’s School Choice Program

School Choice options are increasing across the country despite opposition from teacher unions and special interests groups. Now in North Carolina the state’s Supreme Court has ruled that taxpayer-funded scholarships for private schools are indeed constitutional.


The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Thursday that the state’s voucher program that gives taxpayer support for low-income students to attend private schools is constitutional.

“Our review is limited to a determination of whether plaintiffs have demonstrated that the program legislation plainly and clearly violates our constitution,” Chief Justice Mark Martin wrote for the majority. “Plaintiffs have made no such showing in this case. Accordingly, the trial court erred in declaring the Opportunity Scholarship Program unconstitutional.”…

“We join the thousands of families across the state who are celebrating today because the court has given them the legal right to exercise educational choice through the Opportunity Scholarship program,” said Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina. “We are thrilled for the many low-income students currently on the program and the many more who need this option in the future.”…

“Two-hundred and twenty-four schools worked with parents to allow students to attend the school of their choice while awaiting today’s court decision. More families will now have realistic access to educational options for their children,” Rep. Paul Stam R-Wake, said in a statement.

“The Supreme Court reaffirmed that education in North Carolina is about our children and their future,” Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement. “This ruling makes clear that parents – not education bureaucrats or politicians – ought to be able to choose the educational pathway best suited to their children’s needs, and it empowers thousands of low-income families across the state to make that important choice.”