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  • Writer's pictureAngela Humphries

Getting K-12 Educational Needs Met

Happy New Year, readers -it's getting off to a crazy start. I write in hopes you will join me in becoming an outspoken school choice advocate in our state. Consider all the money you pay in taxes which are distributed to public schools. Then, consider the deserted classrooms, like the one pictured above. That is what education looks like for many: an uninhabited nothingness. Today, I penned a letter similar to this post and sent it off to a few select members of the NC Legislature. Together, let us all work to expand educational freedoms for North Carolina students and beyond.

Students are trapped in failing schools and require options.

The news cycle continues to show children falling through cracks- just as predicted. Government-run school systems seem to have no desire to serve K-12 students. They flounder and fail to open for in-person instruction and will predictably demand to pressure taxpayers for money as budget season creeps in yet again-ACK! Wake County Public School System has issued a contract buyout for Superintendent Moore and recently issued Christmas bonuses. raises for regular teachers as well as offered incentives to substitutes. It is unknown if they have terminated no -show employees. News from September 2020 highlights the lack of leadership Guilford County schools closed M-F but opened on Saturday for in-person instruction. Durham Public Schools doled out "A's" on the final state required testing. These are simply a few of the problems failing to serve children in their educational needs.

It is time to open a dialogue even though communication channels are breaking down, new innovations are sure to come.

Here are items I would like you to consider:

Is it likely to have education tax dollars returned to families for education needs, as was done through the passing of H1105?

Boatloads of money were thrown around the state. but thankfully, sending the one-time $335 to eligible families was a wonderful step in the right direction. Returning tax dollars to families, instead of undergirding the government-run monopoly makes good fiscal sense.

School Choice is not just a matter of "parents having the ability to choose a school which works best," as many politicians stated during the last cycle, but it is the assertion that money follows the students. Picture a backpack on your child, full of money set aside for educational needs. We must question why we allow money to be siphoned from families who are trapped in a school which no longer meets their child's needs.

School Choice does not lay a siege against the government-run system, but it does seem the government-run system is in fact threatened greatly by these programs which benefit children.

Having choice opens the doors of opportunity.

When families are on public charter school waitlists, then we should break down those barriers to help market demands while educating those kids at a lower cost than the system could.

When families apply for tuition help from the Opportunity Scholarship Program/OSP, but are sent away, we should be alarmed. It is perturbing that we advertise Real ID but we do not seem to advertise a K-12 tuition program which helps economically disadvantaged families escape low performing schools.

Why is it we don't we seek options for all NC families?

Are new charter schools able to open easily? This answer depends on the moods of the members of the State Board and the Office Of Charter Schools. Isn't it interesting though, that if a Charter does poorly it closes, but if the government school does poorly we give more tax dollars? This is illogical and a slap in the tax payers face. Oh yeah... and what about those kids? Learn more about the Innovative School Districts/ ISD here.

Do private schools still have a brick and mortar space to teach and serve children, or has the rug been ripped out from under them? With little investigation, you will find small private schools have had clashes with landlords over issues they normally would have no business discussing.

Anytime a homeschooler retorts, "I don't want the government involved in my homeschool," we should ask how many rejected the $335 from H1105. If education tax dollars are returned to families in the form of K-12 vouchers, NC homeschoolers should of course have the option to opt out, but not impede the educational opportunities of others.

Just as NC families can choose their Pre K option with tax dollars in the form of vouchers, K12 families should be allowed to choose with their dollars in the form of vouchers as well..

A 2016 NC Study Commission reported:

"NC Pre-K slots and classrooms are located in three types of child care sites: private and non-profit child care, public schools, and Head Start facilities."

See more about NC Pre K here.

Just as NC families can choose their Pre K option with tax dollars in the form of vouchers, K12 families should be allowed to choose with their dollars in the form of vouchers as well.

I realize these concepts will not be popular among all, but consider asking the question, "why must tax dollars benefit a system which many have rejected for their children?" The money should follow the kids... all kids!

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