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Lottery Selects Students To Receive Vouchers For Private Schools

Flickr/Seth Sawyers

A couple thousand students in North Carolina could attend private school next year with the help of public money.  The state announced the winners of the Opportunity Scholarship lottery this week. 

About 5,500 families applied for the vouchers that cover up to $4,200 in tuition at private schools. The lottery whittled that number down to 2,400 students.  The two schools that received the most interest are the Greensboro Islamic Academy and Victory Christian Center School in Charlotte. 

To qualify students, must have attended public school this year and be eligible for federal lunch subsidies. 

The vouchers have been controversial. Proponents say they can give students a better chance of attending a high-performing school.  Critics say they take money away from public schools and give it to schools that aren’t subject to the same standards. 

The lottery was originally scheduled for February, but a judge issued an injunction in response to a lawsuit by the North Carolina School Boards Association and the NC Association of Educators. The NC Supreme Court lifted that last month.    

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.