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Study by N.C. State University highlights positive academic effects of Opportunity Scholarship program

Carolina Journal’s Lindsay Marchello reports on a study by N.C. State University on the state’s Opportunity Scholarship program that was approved by the General Assembly in 2013. The study shows positive academic effects of the scholarship program that give vouchers to low-income families for their children to attend the private school of their choice.

The researchers found, in general, new voucher recipients scored significantly higher than their public school counterparts in math, reading, and language arts. Existing voucher recipients scored significantly higher than their public school counterparts in language arts and higher in math and reading.

“It may be the case that the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program truly has a positive impact on student achievement, perhaps because it reaches highly economically disadvantaged students who have few school choice options in the absence of the program and perhaps the highest potential for academic growth, as a result,” the study reads.

Terry Stoops, vice president of research and director of education studies at the John Locke Foundation, said the results aren’t surprising.

“The N.C. State study confirms what Opportunity Scholarship supporters have always suspected — low-income students receive meaningful academic benefits in the private schools they choose to attend,” Stoops said. “Not only are families happier in their private school of choice, children learn more. Both are compelling reasons for the state to continue its investment in the Opportunity Scholarship Program.”

50,000 parents have applied for these vouchers since the program began in 2013, and 7,000 students have been able to attend the school of their choice through Opportunity Scholarships. Read the rest of Lindsay’s article here.

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