If Republican state lawmakers get enough support this legislative session, North Carolina could become the latest state to use public money to help families of any income level send their children to private schools. The proposal — which would make private school vouchers one of the state’s biggest education budget items — has stoked debate along party lines. It’s part of a broader trend: Public funding for private education expenses is growing in Republican-led states, particularly for what are known as education savings accounts. Those are accounts, with funding typically based on the state’s per-student expenditure, for families that can be used toward any education expenses, including private-school tuition.
Two states have programs that are similar to North Carolina’s effort: Florida passed its voucher expansion in March. West Virginia’s plan was upheld last year by the state’s high court after a challenge.
Other states, including Iowa, Utah, Arizona and Arkansas, have passed or attempted to pass laws providing universal access to education savings accounts in recent months.
Others are expected to join the movement.
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