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Gov. Cooper will visit Winter Park Elementary School today.
bill filed Tuesday would expand the Personal Education Savings Accounts program (PESA) in North Carolina to include all students and would eventually consolidate PESA with the opportunity scholarship program.
Both of these programs essentially give public money to students to use at nonpublic schools.
In 2024-25, the Personal Education Savings Accounts (PESA) would expand from being a program for students with disabilities to being open for everyone.
Home school students could get up to 28% of the state’s per pupil allocation for average daily membership in the previous year. Any other student attending a nonpublic school could get up to 33%.
Currently, that program is funded at a level of $48,943,166. Under this bill, funding for PESA would go up to $326,239,959 in 2024-25 and would increase each year until 2032-33, when it would reach a funding level of $1,541,178,159.
In 2025-26, the percentage students attending nonpublic schools could receive goes up to 66% for a full-time student.
And then, in 2026-27, the opportunity scholarship program and PESA would merge. At that point, nonpublic school students would be able to receive 100% of the state per pupil allocation for average daily membership in the prior year. Home school students would continue to receive 28%.
The bill would also eliminate the opportunity scholarship grant fund reserve by 2026, and the money for that previously allocated as part of the base budget each year will go back into the General Fund.

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Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.

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