skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report reveals inequities in NC school voucher system

play audio
Play

Tuesday, April 2, 2024   

School vouchers in North Carolina were intended to expand educational options for low-income families. However, the report "NC School Vouchers: Using Tax Dollars to Discriminate Against Students and Families" reveals that private schools also have discretion in choosing which students they admit.

Public school advocates raise concerns about this, since the voucher programs are funded by taxpayers.

Heather Koons, communication director with Public Schools First NC, said there is a need for stronger protections against discrimination based on religion, disability, academic performance and LGBTQ+ identity. She said the report analyzes private school applications and public information, uncovering various reasons why students could be denied admission to private schools.

"The applications even said that we do not accept people from non-Christian denominations. They would say things like no families that believe in the Muslim faith, no Jewish families, no Latter-day Saints," she explained.

She added private schools in North Carolina have to follow the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin. However, they aren't required to follow other federal non-discrimination laws. This means they can refuse to accommodate students with disabilities or reject those who don't agree to the school's lifestyle rules.

Koons also pointed out other downsides of directing public funds toward private schools, citing issues with teaching standards, education standards and funding.

"The voucher program is sending tax dollars to schools that are completely unaccountable to the public," she contended. "So, there are no transparency requirements for finances for the schools and there's no accountability for academic performance."

Koons argues that revisions to discrimination policies for schools receiving vouchers are necessary to ensure equal opportunity for students.

"And that would mean expecting private schools to follow the same non-discrimination laws and be accountable for following those as the public schools," she says.

The report also suggests stopping funding for private schools that violate federal anti-discrimination laws and ending state funding for private school vouchers, in order to prioritize full funding for public schools.

According to the Education Law Center's recent Making the Grade report, North Carolina is ranked 48th in school funding, with funding per student almost $5,000 below the national average.

Disclosure: Public Schools First NC contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Mental Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Grass-fed beef is prepared for serving at an industry event called the Meat Summit. (Roots of Change)

Environment

play sound

By Naoki Nitta for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public Ne…


Social Issues

play sound

Concerns about potential voter intimidation have spurred several states to consider banning firearms at polling sites but so far, New Hampshire is …

Social Issues

play sound

Today, groups working with lower-income families in Connecticut are raising awareness about the state's "benefits cliff" with a day of action…


It is estimated the Wild Springs Solar Project in New Underwood, South Dakota, will offset 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The construction of more solar farms in the U.S. has been contentious but a new survey shows their size makes a difference in whether solar projects …

play sound

Minnesota lawmakers are considering a measure which would force employers to properly classify certain trade union workers and others as employees rat…

Five of nine full-time maternal-fetal medicine specialists have left Idaho since the state's strict abortion law took effect, according to a report from the Idaho Physician Well-Being Action Collaborative. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

By Mary Anne Franks for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Northern Rockies News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Environment

play sound

School buses are getting cleaner in Washington state after this year's legislative session. Lawmakers in Olympia passed House Bill 1368, which will …

Social Issues

play sound

North Dakota's June 11 primary is inching closer and those running for legislative seats are trying to win over voters, including Native American …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021