About that call to expand Opportunity Scholarships …

I read recently the following. The author decried poverty in North Carolina, and among other things noted that “25% of our innocent children” and almost “40% of our children of color live in poverty.” The author says that “should shame us as a people.”

The author furthermore warns against ignoring families in poverty, as if editing them out of the North Carolina family portrait, which he says takes “breathtaking stupidity.” Part of this editing includes:

Ignoring school kids who can’t get access to decent meals, much less quality teachers, or safe classrooms, or the internet – but who we say enjoy a steely equality with the well-tutored and heavily-financed children of Chapel Hill and Myers Park. Though when we say this, we know we lie.

Choosing not to address the issues is, according to the author, a “moral failing.”

The author, Gene Nichol, is head of the poverty center at UNC, and he is an opponent of opportunity scholarships.

Like other opponents, Nichol casts the issue in terms of the schools — he is very careful to edit the poor kids and poor families out of the rhetorical picture. In stark contrast, the announcement below keeps them front and center.

Opportunity Scholarships

provide as much as $4,200 in scholarships for children from lower-income families to offset the cost of attending private schools [such as Nichol did]. To be eligible in the first year, the children receiving the vouchers must have been enrolled in a public school the previous year and qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches

I would characterize further Nichol’s obvious dereliction of duty here, but there’s no need for that. His poverty center “Message from the Director” (cached) suffices.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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