BRAWLEY: Opportunity scholarships here to stay

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
With support from fellow African-American members of the North Carolina House and Senate standing by

North Carolina developed a dynamic education system under key reforms from Republican leaders that significantly expanded options for families across the state.The expansion of charter schools, virtual and home schools, Opportunity Scholarships for low-income kids, and pilot-programs like Achievement School Districts have improved access to an excellent education for vulnerable students seeking a bright future. Thanks to these reforms, parents no longer face a one-size-fits-all, top-down bureaucratic approach to their child’s public education in North Carolina. Our state should maintain this commitment to modernization, investing in a competitive learning environment, and encouraging innovation in the classroom. Yet, Gov. Roy Cooper removed future Opportunity Scholarship funding for low-income students in his budget release Wednesday. House Democrats held a press conference the day prior to support the school choice scholarships for poor families, but Cooper stripped the funding for future students anyway. School choice is widely supported across the racial, political, and socioeconomic spectrum. North Carolina parents can rest assured the Republican-led legislature will maintain its commitment to Opportunity Scholarships and building 21st century school systems that serve students first and prepare them to excel. I will stand by my commitment to improve the education system in North Carolina by giving parents the right to choose the best opportunity for their children to excel. I urge my colleagues in the General Assembly to fully fund Opportunity Scholarships in the state budget and keep our promise to parents and students across the state.State Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) is chairman of the House Finance Committee.