North Carolina will start taking applications in February for new Opportunity Scholarships to help low-income families send their children to private schools, according to an update on the plan that state lawmakers created this summer.
For 2014-15, students who qualify for federal lunch subsidies -- currently $43,568 for a family of four -- are eligible for up to $4,200 a year in public subsidy for tuition (aka vouchers). About 2,400 students are expected to get the scholarships that year. In later years, eligibility will rise to 133 percent of that threshold, or $57,945 at current levels.
As many have noted, that's not enough money to cover tuition at most Charlotte-area private schools. And the March notification may come a bit late for families who have to make applications in January.
But for now, I'm excited to have found this much information to pass along. I asked the N.C. Department of Public Instruction who would handle the applications and was referred to the College Foundation of North Carolina. I hadn't managed to find any kind of live contact on the CFNC web site or penetrate its automated calling system.