In a time when friction between America’s two major parties seems to be at an all time high, school choice seems to be emerging as one of the few issues on which both parties can agree.
North Carolina underscored that fact today with its passage of universal school choice, made possible because Republicans and Democrats worked together on getting the law through its House and Senate chambers and past the desk of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Five Democrats joined in and voted for the program, The 74 reported, and “the bill’s passage was the culmination of years of work for Marcus Brandon, a former Democratic state representative who considered himself a progressive and once thought vouchers were ‘evil.'” When asked how he changed his mind and decided to become a school choice supporter Brandon said, “My constituents are the ones that led me here. They’re the ones that talked about the lack of educational opportunities.”
Following the passage, school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis tweeted:
Starting in the 2024 school year, families with lower incomes will be eligible to receive around $7,400 per student to take to the school of their choice, CarolinaCoastOnline explained. Families with higher incomes will “receive 90%, 60%, and 45%” of that amount depending on income levels.
North Carolina’s story should inspire all of us, for it showcases an instance where constituents let their voices be heard and changed the minds of their leaders. It also demonstrates how Democrats and Republicans were able to come together and agree to do what’s best for children for once.
Would that more states would do the same.
Image Credit: Flickr-Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0