North Carolina’s Private School Scholarship Program Now Open to All Students: New Guide Helps Parents Explore Options

All K-12 students are eligible for the Opportunity Scholarship for the 2024-2025 school year

RALEIGH, NC — Last month, North Carolina lawmakers enacted the most significant expansion of K-12 school choice in the past decade, empowering more families with greater options for how and where their children learn. Now, Tar Heel State families have a cost-free online resource to help them navigate their expanded educational choices.

Today, the National School Choice Awareness Foundation — a nonprofit that informs and empowers parents to discover the traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and home education environments available for their children — launched a comprehensive guide to help families unpack what the expansion of the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program means for them. The guide is accessible at https://schoolchoiceweek.com/north-carolina-opportunity-scholarship/.

The guide helps parents understand how the program has changed, how scholarship funds can be used, how they can apply for their children to receive scholarships, and the amount of scholarship funds available.

“This year, North Carolina took a huge step forward in empowering families with educational freedom. The expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship Program ensures that all families, regardless of income, can choose learning options that best meet their children’s needs,” said Andrew Campanella, President and CEO of the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. “But with any new program, parents need resources to help them navigate their choices, and our guide is designed to remove the complexity and jargon that too often prevents parents from starting the school search process.” 

The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program was designed a decade ago to increase education options for low-income students. During the 2022-2023 school year alone, approximately 25,500 students benefited from this scholarship program.

Thanks to its newly expanded eligibility and increased budget cap, the Opportunity Scholarship Program will now be able to serve more than double that number of students next school year. Scholarships will continue to be granted on a sliding scale that prioritizes educational opportunities for low-income families.

The impact of this scholarship expansion is substantial in both its budgetary size and income inclusivity. As such, North Carolina ranks among the nation’s largest private school choice programs.

In addition to the Opportunity Scholarship Program, North Carolina offers a variety of public sector education options, including 206 public charter schools, public magnet schools and online learning. Parents can also opt to homeschool their children. To learn more about school choice options in North Carolina, visit https://schoolchoiceweek.com/states/north-carolina/.

More information and resources for journalists can be found at schoolchoiceweek.com/multimedia. 

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The National School Choice Awareness Foundation (NSCAF) raises broad and positive awareness of school choice through two charitable programs: organizing National School Choice Week each January and the research, development, and promotion of comprehensive and unbiased school navigation resources for parents via School Choice Week and Conoce tus Opciones Escolares. NSCAF does not advocate for or oppose legislation at any level of government and is steadfastly nonpartisan and nonpolitical.

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