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Raleigh, NC- Last week, FreedomWorks activists across the state of North Carolina celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 5, which increases educational choices for parents and children by removing an arbitrary cap of 100 charter schools in the Tar Heel state. Pending the signature of Governor Beverly Perdue, who is expected to sign the bill, North Carolina will join 14 other states that have abolished anti-competitive charter school caps.
“14 states have removed arbitrary caps on charter schools and 41 states now have school choice legislation on the books,” noted FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe. “You look at states like Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and it’s clear that the grassroots action of those clamoring for school choice is finally beating back the monopoly power of the teachers’ unions.”
Despite hundreds of children stuck on charter school waiting lists, the charter school cap in North Carolina had remained in place for 15 years. Similar legislation had been denied even a hearing in the past, but this year the landmark vote on Senate Bill 5 was close to unanimous. The North Carolina state Senate voted 45-0 to eliminate the cap, while the North Carolina House voted 108-5 on the same measure.
“We applaud the legislators of the General Assembly for at last offering school choice to North Carolina families,” said North Carolina FreedomWorks Legislative Liaison Kathy Hartkopf. “Our activists have always stood for school choice for North Carolina and we are delighted that finally our state legislators have as well."
Since 2000, FreedomWorks has worked toward eliminating the charter school cap in North Carolina. Over the years, activists have made legislator intercepts, office visits, personal phone calls, and engaged in letter and e-mail writing campaigns. School choice has been featured at North Carolina FreedomWorks’ legislative reports, issue briefings, seminars, and “Day at the Capitol” events.
“This has been a long fight to increase educational choices in North Carolina,” commented FreedomWorks Southeast Regional Director Allen Page. “But for the thousands of children trapped in failing schools or sitting on waiting lists, this bill provides them with the opportunities that make it all worth it.”
FreedomWorks will continue to support school choice legislation currently being debated, using the leadership of states like North Carolina as a model for reforms.
“Winning in North Carolina is another huge milestone,” added Kibbe. “FreedomWorks will continue to support taxpayers and parents, as school choice legislation continues to sweep across America.”