Poll: NC voters support universal Opportunity Scholarships
Nearly seven-in-10 registered voters in North Carolina support expanding the Opportunity Scholarship Program to all families, regardless of income. That’s one of the findings of a new poll from Carolina Partnership for Reform.
Voters were asked if they supported or opposed the following proposal: “Expanding the Opportunity Scholarship program to make all families of school-age children eligible for a grant of $6,000 per child to send their children to a private school if their local public school fails to meet their children’s academic needs.”
Sixty-eight percent supported the idea, with 27% opposed. The support held across party lines, with 46% of unaffiliated voters and 50% of Democrats strongly supporting the concept.
“The CPR poll provides two interesting nuggets. First, the results are yet more support for the conviction that families should be able to choose the best educational option for their child — no matter the income level,” said Dr. Robert Luebke, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation. “Second, the broad appeal of a universal program among unaffiliated and Democrats underscores how choice is not only more popular than ever, but also going mainstream. It’s all very good news for those who favor expanding educational options for families.”
The results are in keeping with consistent support for Opportunity Scholarships for years. A Civitas poll from January put support at 67% of likely voters.
The CPR poll is unique in that it asks for support levels for the program if it weren’t means-tested. The current OSP program is limited to low- and moderate-income families. For a family of four, the upper income limit to receive the full scholarship amount is $55,500 a year. The same family could make up to $111,000 a year and quality for 90% of the tuition amount.
For the 2023-2024 school year, the scholarship amount is a maximum of $6,492 for private school tuition.
Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill this session that would phase out the Opportunity Scholarship Program and replace it with a universal Education Savings Account, available to all families regardless of income.