A North Carolina lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday that would create a universal school choice program for students and families.
Republican state Rep. Tricia Cotham, who recently switched from the Democratic party, is sponsoring House Bill 823, which would make all students eligible for taxpayer funds up to 45% of the average cost of attending a private school. With Cotham’s recent switch to the Republican party, the state chambers have enough votes along party lines to override a potential veto from Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. (RELATED: The School Choice Movement Is Picking Up Steam Across The Country)
“North Carolina Representative Tricia Cotham introduced a bill to fund students instead of systems,” Corey DeAngelis, senior fellow at the American Federation for Children (AFC), a group working towards more school choice, wrote in a tweet. “All North Carolina families would be eligible. Cotham was a Democrat who just changed her party registration to Republican this month. This is the way.”
Under the legislation, the funds would be distributed to students on a financial need basis, giving first priority to students who previously received funds and are eligible for the state’s free or reduced-price lunch program. The funds provided to students can be used for education related costs such as tuition, transportation and curriculum or material expenses.
If made law, the program is estimated to cost an additional $500 million each year through 2030.States across the nation are signing school choice programs int0 law; in March, Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders signed a law to give her state a universal school choice program by the 2025-2026 school year. Shortly after, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law expanding the state’s school choice program to become universal.
“Children first,” Cotham wrote in a tweet after introducing the legislation.
Cotham did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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