NC House panel looking at public school grant bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A proposal to give grants to North Carolina students to attend private or religious schools has been retooled to target low-income families. But it's not enough for opponents who argue the plan is a voucher system that will debilitate the public schools.

The House Education Committee scheduled a meeting Tuesday to consider a school-choice initiative that would provide up to $4,200 per student per year in public funds. Proponents argue the "Opportunity Scholarship Grants" will help students attending consistently low-performing schools fare better.

The original version of the bill would have allowed families of four making $70,000 a year to qualify. The new edition more closely aligns with families whose children qualify for free or reduced-price lunch at school.

Opponents contend voucher programs elsewhere aren't improving educational outcomes.

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