June 2, 2016, Raleigh –
Today during the budget debate Senate Democrats tried to move the funding for vouchers for private schools towards textbooks and technology funding in public schools. The amendment failed but here are my thoughts:
Even if you support opportunity scholarships, I think we should agree that when we are failing to fully fund the needs of public school children, taking resources away from public schools to fund private schools is misguided.
But it is not just textbooks and technology. I applaud the acknowledgment in the budget of the importance of early childhood development, but I’d like to remind everyone that we still have real waiting lists for PreK and Childcare Subsidies. Children that fully qualify and need those services are going without. And those waiting lists grossly underrepresent the actual need.
Next September, children that should have had access to those programs will start school unprepared. The deck will be stacked against them on day one because we failed to help.
We need to do the right thing, funding universal PreK and childcare subsidies as well as textbooks and technology for all our children before we divert funds which can inadvertently exacerbate the widening gap between the haves and have-nots.
Sen. Terry Van Duyn