How can students and families in North Carolina access the very best educational opportunities?
- Education plays an important role in the development of people and communities. It encourages social engagement. It fosters economic development. And it helps students to realize their personal potential.
- Bureaucratic and political systems are not the best way to meet each student’s educational needs. They do not provide environments that address learning diversity. They do not support innovative teachers or instruction.
- Allowing choice in education opens paths to academic success. The right learning environment prepares students for new challenges. It allows students to find a place to excel. It rewards innovative, engaged teachers.
State education policy plays a large role in everyone’s life
State education policy directly impacts the lives of North Carolina’s 1.5 million K-12 students. Spending on education represents nearly $9.5 billion of our state budget. Our approach to education policy is vitally important to students, families, educators and taxpayers. The decisions being made by legislators and state agencies today—and the availability of the best public schools, charter schools, private schools and tech learning centers—will determine if students will be college and career ready tomorrow.
Political solutions cannot adequately prepare students for tomorrow’s world
Conventional school policy drives districts, schools and teachers into solutions governed by politics and bureaucracy. It does not promote more personalized and effective learning environments or curricula. It holds back students wanting deeper academic challenges. It does not adequately serve children with special learning needs. When politicians and public agencies play a larger role in shaping educational policy than students or families, we do not prepare those students for a diverse society or a dynamic economy.
Choice can create a dynamic, future-oriented education system
There is a better approach to cultivating opportunities for North Carolina’s students, families and educators. This better approach focuses on the freedom to access options for student success. It includes the freedom to reward engaged teachers and develop innovative instruction. And it allows for the freedom to enhance quality and performance while responsibly controlling cost.
North Carolina can promote a dynamic, future-oriented educational system based on choice. Students and families need choices among diverse, robust approaches. They need choices that promote high quality and responsive educational environments. They need choices tailored to the needs of individual students and the future they face. With these choices, we can achieve outstanding education policy for a better North Carolina.
Real, Practical, Effective Solutions for Education Policy
- Expand North Carolina’s state-funded Education Savings Account program to cover more students, allowing better education options for all students, especially students with special learning needs and families with financial hardships.
- Expand open enrollment within and between public-school districts, allowing families to find the best school fit within the public-school system without obtaining permission from their home district.
- Expand and fully fund the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship program, allowing greater access for all families, including those who lack the financial means to enroll their students in a private school.