RALEIGH, N.C. — "Governor Cooper Is Failing When It Comes To Helping Minority Students" - it's a claim made on a billboard now up in Raleigh, put there by the Job Creators Network, a national conservative advocacy group.
The second part of their message reads, "Don't let him take away your Opportunity Scholarships."
Their sign talks about something called the "Opportunity Scholarship Program." If eligible, low-income students, grades K through 12 in our state can get up to $2,100 a semester, or $4,200 a school year, to attend a private school of their choice.
I reached out to Governor Cooper's office directly about this. A spokesperson says, this billboard references the Governor's budget proposal from March.
They sent this statement:
"Investing in our public schools is the best and smartest way to bring opportunity to all of North Carolina and make sure our students are prepared for higher education and careers. The Governor's proposed budget would allow all students currently receiving an Opportunity Scholarship to continue in their school, but would not make any new scholarship grants."
That means this program would stop, if the budget gets approved the way it is now. The "Job Creators Network" has a petition to keep the scholarship program running.
Right now - for the 2018-2019 year, more than 9,500 students took advantage in this program statewide. For the upcoming year, so far almost 4,000 students have been accepted to the program. Guilford County had the 4th largest number of applicants, and Forsyth had the 6th most.