UPDATE: Judge Blocks Taxpayer Vouchers For Private Schools

A plan to provide grants or scholarships to low-income families has been deemed unconstitutional by a Wake County Judge.

The plan would use your tax money to provide qualified children with grants to go to private schools. Some say it has its benefits, but also some major drawbacks.

Calvary Christian Academy in Pitt County is a private, religious school that could have accepted grants in the form of scholarship grants or vouchers. The grants would have helped low-income children afford CCA or any private school.

CCA Principal Larry Roebuck says, "It gives families that had no other choice or opportunity to get their children in a school where they can get a better education. Not only a better education but an education from a philosophical view."

But a judge ruled on Friday, this plan is unconstitutional.

NAACP President Calvin Henderson says the organization fought against the general assembly's plan, which could give a qualified student up to $4,200 a year, starting this coming school year.

Henderson says, "No one should try to tamper or tear about our education system as it is. I think it has done a wonderful job."

Roebuck says they wouldn't want the state's funds, for it would come with too steep of a price.

"If they start dictating what we can and cannot teach then we lose our distinction as a private school," says Roebuck.

Taxpayers and groups representing teachers and many of the state's 115 school boards challenged the program in two lawsuits.
Previous story:

A North Carolina judge is blocking a new law that would have allowed taxpayer money to go for tuition at private or religious schools.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled Friday that awarding annual grants of up to $4,200 a year per student violated the state constitution. More than 4,000 families had applied for the grants that were scheduled to be awarded next month.

A lawyer representing two parents who want the grants says an appeal is planned.

The grants were to start in the next academic year for families whose children qualified for the federal free or reduced-price school lunch program, about $44,000 for a family of four.

Taxpayers and groups representing teachers and many of the state's 115 school boards challenged the program in two lawsuits.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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