Kris Nordstrom tweeted the following this past week concerning an August 2019 report about Opportunity Grants applied for and awarded here in the 2019-2020 school year.
Barely over 37% of the available money earmarked for these vouchers have been awarded.
And this is not a new trend. In 2017-2018, almost $45 million dollars were invested in a pool for vouchers.
In the 2017-18 school year, 7001 students attended 405 private schools at a cost of $20.3 million. The largest cohort of Opportunity Scholarship recipients attended a single religious school in Fayetteville, with those 201 students making up more than half of its student population. The largest dollar amount, $451,442, went to Liberty Christian Academy in Richlands, NC where 122 of the 145 students are voucher recipients. The 2018-2019 Budget Adjustments bill increased funding for the Opportunity Scholarship program from $45 to $55 million.
Over $24 million dollars that were budgeted for vouchers were never used where there was supposed to be a CRITICAL NEED.
That “7001” figure from the above quote does not match exactly with the graphic above, but the terms “recipients” and “accepted” need to be further investigated. What the PSF statement may show is how many grants were actually. Not everyone who receive the voucher actually uses it.
But the amount of people using the vouchers has never met the actual funding. The number of vouchers given for the 2019-2020 school year as of August of 2019 is about $25.7 million. That’s about 40% of what has been allocated for the voucher program for the school year.
Looks like a surplus – a big one.
And the Berger/Moore team has already floated what it wants to do with at least one surplus.
From WBTV.com this past August:
That line of reasoning surely has not been applied to the surplus of voucher money. Why? It goes against the narrative that Berger/Moore want to offer for their school choice / privatizing agenda.
And that agenda also seems to be helping finance a rather booming non-transparent private religious schooling industry.
And remember that churches are already tax-exempt.
It would make sense to take the Opportunity Grant surplus and put it back into the public school system, but the Berger/Moore machine does not want that. It would mean investing more in the very public they are supposed to serve.