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Politics
An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

House Republicans Want To Quadruple Funds For Vouchers

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Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina House want to significantly expand the state’s voucher program for private schools. That’s according to House Speaker Pro-Tem Paul Stam. 

Lawmakers set aside about $10 million in private school tuition this year, but Stam says they’d like to increase that to $40 million to serve more students. 

"The target would be as many as apply, which is currently about 5,000. We hope to get up to 8,000 or 9,000," says Stam. 

Lawmakers can only do that if the state Supreme Court rules the Opportunity Scholarship program is constitutional. The court heard arguments last month. The state was allowed to give out the vouchers this year, but must wait for the court’s go ahead before the program can proceed next school year. 

Under the voucher program, the state pays private schools up to $4,200 on behalf of a low-income student.  The income levels would rise slightly, so that a family of four making $58,000 a year would be eligible next year.