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"What choices do I have?"

In North Carolina, families choose from the district, charter, private, online, hybrid or home school. We can categorize these schools as public government-run, independent or private schools. If your school isn't working well for your family, then you should have access to other choices. This is the focus of school choice; parents lead the decision-making process for their families. Scholarships may be available for qualifying families to attend a private school, which include the Opportunity Scholarship Program, the Education Savings Account and the Disabilities Grant Program.

CHARTER SCHOOLS are public schools in which state and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources. They have open enrollment. They cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge-tuition. Charter schools are regulated differently than DISTRICT schools, but are held accountable by the NC Department of Public Instruction and the State assessment and accountability system. Both DISTRICT and CHARTER schools are publicly funded education choices.

PRIVATE. HYBRID and HOME SCHOOLS fall under the regulations of the Department of Nonpublic Education.

ONLINE schools can be public or private school options.

Expanding Your Choices Even Further

What is the Disabilities Grant Program?

The Disabilities Grant Program is a program for eligible students with disabilities in Kindergarten through 12th grade to provide an option for parents to pay tuition, fees, and some other expenses at a participating school or homeschool.

The 2019-20 new student application for the Disabilities Grant Program opens February 1, 2019. Applications received through the priority deadline of March 15 are not considered on a first-come, first-served basis. New student awards will be offered to eligible students selected by lottery according to the new student priorities; see the Program Overview. Students on applications received by March 15 will be entered in the lottery. The application will close June 1, 2019.

What is an Opportunity Scholarship

This is a program which provides up to $4,200 for eligible full-time, nonpublic school students per school year. Money is distributed to a participating PRIVATE school for the tuition fee. 


Priority is given to students funded in the prior year.


The new application period opens on February 1. March 1 deadline for priority consideration.New, eligible students are selected by a lottery system. 

Funds may be used on nonpublic school, but do not include disbursements allowable to home schools

What is an Education Savings Account?


These are scholarship funds which help with tuition and required fees at a participating nonpublic school. This scholarship money is for qualified expenses related to educating a child with a disability.

$9,000 per full-time nonpublic school student per school year


$4,500 per part-time nonpublic school student per school year


Unused funds are carried forward provided the student continues to participate in the program and continues to meet the program’s requirements


Wake Forest, North Carolina



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