House Leaders file Equity in Opportunity education legislation

Access to more education tools for students to learn has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many students falling behind during virtual learning because of circumstances out of their control.

House budget and education leaders Rep. Dean Arp, Rep. Hugh Blackwell, Rep. Donny Lambeth, and Rep. Jason Saine introduced House Bill 32 Equity in Opportunity Act to help address the needs of many of these students.

From their press release:

“The Equity in Opportunity Act would ensure North Carolina treats all students receiving a publicly-funded education the same, regardless of disability or income level.

Right now vulnerable students receiving a publicly funded education are not able to benefit from their county’s commitments to classroom funding like their peers. Our students deserve a policy where their state and local governments can support all of their children equitably.”

Highlights of the bill’s provisions include:

  • Allowing students either receiving Education Savings Account grants due to disabilities, or Opportunity Scholarships due to income level, to calculate their grant as a percentage of per-pupil funding instead of a fixed amount.
  • Allowing counties to supplement funding for students receiving those scholarship and education savings accounts, just as counties supplement per-pupil allotments for charter and traditional public schools.
  • Permits second grade students to enter the scholarship program, and authorizes administrators to partner with nonprofit organizations to educate families about the program.