She shared with school board members the impact of a state bill that would expand private school vouchers in North Carolina. The proposal would take the income limit off families meaning the household could make any income level and still get 45% of a student’s private school tuition paid.
When the legislature originally passed vouchers in 2013, they were marketed as a way to give choice to families who were low-income. Hefner told the board that the Office of State Budget and Management estimates that Alexander County would lose 4% of the state funding in the first year if the state expands the vouchers. Alexander County would be one of the hardest hit statewide. Dr. Hefner said that the county commissioners would have to make up the differences if the voucher bill goes through. She said the other options, if vouchers pass, would be to cut staff or close schools.
Dr. Hefner called on the public, school supporters, and the school board members to contact their legislators to oppose HB823. She offered, “There are two entities in this county who have no oversight and no accountability and they are home schools and private schools.” She stated that “they should not receive tax dollars.”
The TAYLORSVILLE TIMES contributed to this article.