(Daily Caller News Foundation) – Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday that he will allow the passage of a state budget that includes funding for universal school vouchers.
The budget allows for $3,200 to $7,500 per child, weighing income and other factors, to cover the cost of tuition for a school of their parent’s choice and would increase total funding for the program each year, eventually amounting to $520 million by 2032, according to The 74 Million. Cooper decided to allow the funding to pass without his signature in order to expand Medicaid for “people who are crying for help,” according to the press release.
State House Republicans introduced the legislation for the voucher program in April, which makes all students eligible to obtain funding for up to 45% of the average cost of private schools. Students who are a part of the state’s free or reduced lunch program are first in line to receive funding and use the money for tuition, transportation and curriculum or material expenses.
Cooper claimed in May that the funding would put the North Carolina education system in a state of emergency and that passing the funding for the voucher program would mean that “anyone – even a millionaire” could use taxpayer funding to help their child go to a private school, which he claimed would hurt rural and underprivileged communities the most.
The budget’s passage makes North Carolina the ninth state to approve a universal school choice voucher program, according to The 74 Million. Mary Ann Wolf, president and executive director of Public School Forum, however, argued that the funding should have gone to teachers, who they argue are not making a “livable wage.”