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Ensuring Opportunity in the NC Opportunity Scholarship

Project Team:

Sponsor: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Project Total: $32,208


The grant funds the initial year of a multi-year project that will examine the impacts of North Carolina’s legislatively-mandated school voucher program–the Opportunity Scholarship–which is available to lower-income families beginning in SY 2014-15. Most voucher programs in other states have been relatively small in scale, and typically city-based, limiting the degree to which they are able to inform the emerging movement toward state-level voucher programs like this one. This study will provide a deeper understanding of large-scale implementation of a statewide voucher program, its cost to the state, and its differential impact on multiple student populations, including rural students–a group typically unable to access voucher programs. The need for this study is critical, given that there is currently no plan for a state-supported evaluation of the effectiveness or consequences of the program.