OAN’s Roy Francis
9:47 AM – Tuesday, May 23, 2023
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Monday in an effort to try and stop the state legislature from overriding his veto on a school choice bill.
“I’m declaring the state of emergency because you need to know what’s happening,” Cooper (D-N.C.) said during an address in the state capital of Raleigh. “If you care about public schools in North Carolina, it’s time to take immediate action and tell them to stop the damage that will set back our schools for a generation.”
During his remarks, the governor slammed the bill referring to it as a “school voucher scheme.”
“Their private school voucher scheme will pour your tax money into private schools that are unaccountable to the public,” he said. “And can decide which students they want to keep out. They want to expand private school vouchers so that anyone, even a millionaire, can get taxpayer money for their children’s private academy tuition.”
The bill, Senate Bill 406, named the “Choose Your School, Choose Your Future” bill, would eliminate income requirement for students to apply for a scholarship which would cover up to 45% of tuition at any school.
The bill, which would also allow parents to choose where to send their children to school by sending state education funds to a school of their choosing, had been passed by the state legislature, but vetoed by the governor. The state of emergency declaration came as the state legislature was set to override the governor’s veto due to the Republican supermajority in the state.
“It’s time to declare a State of Emergency for public education in North Carolina. There’s no Executive Order like with a hurricane or the pandemic, but it’s no less important,” Cooper stated. “It’s clear that the Republican legislature is aiming to choke the life out of public education. I’m declaring this state of emergency because you need to know what’s happening. If you care about public schools in North Carolina, it’s time to take immediate action and tell them to stop the damage that will set back our schools for a generation.”
The governor’s criticism of the bill and private school drew severe backlash due to the fact the governor himself had sent his own children to private schools when he had the opportunity.
The school choice bill was announced as a part of an effort by Republican lawmakers in North Carolina to promote school choice, with the governor vehemently opposing the effort.
“Put together, these ideas spell disaster that requires emergency action. The North Carolina I know was built on support for public schools, and we can’t let the legislature tear them down. I’m fighting back, and I need you to do it too. Public schools can survive this legislative session if we can limit the damage, but we all need to pull together to do it,” Cooper said.
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